MARSHALL, TX (KTAL/KMSS) – Marshall has had to make some adjustments in order to address a budget shortfall due to the COVID-19 pandemic in an effort to protect the city’s economy.
The city’s 2020 budget was adjusted to prepare for the shortfall in revenue and to keep them afloat for the rest of the year, according to City Manager Mark Rohr.
“Wanted to make sure we protected our own interest and made timely decisions to make sure that towards the end of the year that it all didn’t come back to haunt us.”
Decisions like furloughing city workers, a hiring freeze, and making adjustments to cut spending on non-essentials.
“In general, we tried to prepare the city to endure circumstances that were presented to us by virtue of the pandemic and I think we been able to do that quite well. We are starting to see some of those revenue sources come back and I’m very pleased we made those adjustments.”
Sales tax revenue was down more than 10% at the beginning of the pandemic. He says it has now progressed and even surpassed the previous year.
“Early on they were more severe then they have recently. They’re trending upward. We actually have a sales tax based on the latest report, which shows 2020 revenues are just a touch higher then they were in 2019, which is a good sign.”
Because fewer people are traveling, Marshall’s Hotel Occupancy Tax has taken a hit. The anticipated revenue for the year was more than $760,000. Rohr says it’s down at least 20%.
“The idea is, those monies come in and we use that to promote further visitation of the city, getting people to come here for a lot of different things.”
Rohr says they’re hoping to see a change come December and they are hopeful they will finish the year out strong and bring in more money for the city.