The City of Washington discuss COVID-19 response plan, prepares for loss of sales tax revenue

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WASHINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — The City of Washington went over budget plans just in case it doesn’t bring in the money expected for this year’s budget.

Revealed Monday night during the city council meeting, leaders said they expect to see $210,915.85 less in sales tax revenue between March and May. City Administrator Ray Forsythe said that’s not bad, given businesses are closed right now.

He said he thinks it won’t be a big drop-off in sales tax revenue because people are spending most of their money in the community since they can’t really travel. He also mentioned neighboring towns like Eureka are also looking at the City of Washington to shop.

Forsythe said anything can happen to the budget in the next few weeks because some businesses will not reopen once Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s order is lifted. He also said new businesses could emerge as a result of the changes the pandemic has caused.

Council said Monday they are considering a hiring freeze or making cuts to the budget and services to fill the possible gap. Tonight was just a discussion of the plan because leaders said they need more time to decide.

He also mentioned it is likely a federal and state stimulus payment to the City of Washington could replace the loss of the funds.

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