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Cornelius News

Town manager: COVID-19 will impact budget about $1.6 million

May 5. By Dave Vieser. Town Manager Andrew Grant is forecasting that the town will have to absorb a roughly $1.6 million hit from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some of the larger categories to be impacted include a drop in sales tax revenue, as well as the loss of fees from a wide variety of park programs which had to be canceled.

Grant said that the town was working to cut non-urgent discretionary costs where possible and had accumulated a tentative list of close to $1 million in savings, which will be refined for the next town board meeting on May 18.


“We’ve pretty much cut to the bone now with this list,” he told commissioners at Monday’s virtual meeting.

Merit raises

He is also proposing that the annual merit raises for town employees be reduced from 4 percent down to 3 percent.

Commissioner Jim Duke said Grant reviewed about a dozen revenue categories and made conservative judgments about potential revenue loss.

On the flip side, delays in road projects will cut expenses in the upcoming fiscal year.

Delays in tax payments

Ad valorem—taxes based on the assessed value of an item, such as real estate—was the largest with a collection rate of 97.25 percent vs. a typical rate of 99.9 percent in normal times.

Duke said the town will get to the 99.9 percent rate, but it may not be collected in 2021.


“It is the sales taxes and others that will not likely be recouped even with a robust rebound,” Duke said.

This is entirely new territory here and subject to further analysis and adjustment as the economy plays out.