Texarkana -Determining the full financial effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on county governments’ retail sales tax cash flow could remain a guessing game perhaps as far as into the summer.
For both Miller and Bowie counties, retail sales tax is one of the main revenue streams used to maintain public operations. And it may be a falling stream owing to the recent drop in retail shopping for goods and services.
Bowie County Auditor Jennifer Beckett agrees with officials’ initial assessment that COVID-19’s real effect will show up in the summer.
Beckett said that the county received slightly more than $546,000 in total sales tax in February, while March’s total came in at about $513,000. While this represents about a $33,000 drop in sales tax income from one month to the other, she added that the figures are still in line with last year’s figures.
Should Bowie County suffer a steep decline in summer sales tax revenue, figures released in the county’s most recent independent audit report show that the county has slightly more than $14 million in its general revenue fund balance, which might be used to make up for a shortfall.
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by greg bischof
april 27, 2020