City Of Charlotte Faces A Projected $14 Million Shortfall Due To Coronavirus
Charlotte City Manager Marcus Jones is projecting a $14 million dollar shortfall due to the coronavirus.
During a presentation to City Council on Monday night, Jones said sales tax revenue is down 25-30%. He also projected an 85% decrease in revenue from hospitality taxes through mid-summer and said that revenue stream likely won’t return to normal for another year.
Jones said one solution to offset the projected losses is to dip into the city’s $116 million reserve fund. But that came with a caveat.
“We do need to have a plan of how to get that reserve back up,” Jones said. “So you don’t just go into it and say, ‘Well, I’m going to spend it.’ You have to have a plan to see how you repay the reserves.”
Jones said the city has already instituted a hiring freeze, is eliminating vacant positions, and has stopped creating new programs or making enchantments to existing ones. He’s scheduled to present a budget to council on May 4.
Council on Monday also approved spending almost $5.7 million in federal funding for local coronavirus relief efforts. The money will go toward helping residents make mortgage or rent payments and to men’s and women’s shelters that are housing those experiencing homelessness during the pandemic.
Additionally, City Council also approved using $1 million for grants to some small businesses with five employees or fewer affected by the outbreak.