ELOY — City Finance Director Brian Wright has been keeping an eye on what kind of impact the coronavirus shutdown has made on the state and Eloy economy.
During Monday evening’s regular City Council meeting, Wright presented the council with a quarterly financial report.
“This financial update is probably a little outdated since the COVID-19 pandemic but it kind of gives the council a snapshot of where we were at before all this surfaced,” Wright told the council.
The report stated that the timing of the pandemic and the lack of up-to-the-minute revenue information has led to a lot of uncertainty as local sales tax is prone to overestimation during a downturn because of the timing of the tax data that is available to the Arizona Department of Revenue.
The impact of the crisis will not be felt by the ADOR until the end of April and then the department will remit the local tax collections to the city in May.
Wright mentioned that he had talked with some of the businesses in town and they have seen a reduction because of the lack of traffic flow.
“When we go through this, especially in the next couple of months, a lot of this impact that we are seeing right now is going to have an effect in this year’s revenue financial picture,” he said. “Hopefully by the time July comes around things start to pick back up, not necessarily back to normal but to a little of normalcy to allow a better projection.”
Through the end of March, the city had a positive variance in the general fund of approximately $1 million due to vacant positions, conservative spending and revenue exceeding expectations.
“We have a 6% positive variance and all funds are operating right at budget or even below,” Wright said. “We have a lot of vacancies that we’ve had all year and right now we’re not really moving forward with some of our hiring duties until we get a better handle on the economic situation.”
The council will begin working on its budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year in May and Wright will begin providing monthly reports instead of quarterly reports at that time.