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Sat, July 04

City’s April sales tax revenue drops 58 percent

The city of Williams sales tax revenue for April was $223,837, a decrease of 55 percent from the $494,090 in 2019. (Wendy Howell/WGCN)

The city of Williams sales tax revenue for April was $223,837, a decrease of 55 percent from the $494,090 in 2019. (Wendy Howell/WGCN)

WILLIAMS, Ariz. — According to the most recent Arizona Department of Revenue Sales Tax Summary, Williams saw a 58 percent decline in sales and BBB (Bed, Board and Booze) tax revenue for the month of April when compared to the same time last year.

April brought in $256,151 in sales and BBB tax revenue for Williams, a drop from $609,557 the city received in 2019. The figure was the lowest April revenue since 2005, which was $227,482.

City sales tax revenue for April was $223,837, a decrease of 55 percent from the $494,090 in 2019.

BBB tax revenue for April was $32,315, a decrease of 72 percent from the $115,467 in 2019.

In April 2019, Williams saw 7.9 percent growth in sales and BBB tax revenues when compared to April 2018.

Year-to-date, Williams is down 7.8 percent in sales and BBB tax revenue – 6.3 percent in sales tax and 14.6 percent in BBB tax.

In April, the Williams City Council began taking measures to reduce city expenditures by furloughing employees and placed a spending freeze on city departments.

Aiming to cut costs, the council voted to furlough or not fill 19 city positions for a 90-day period because of the economic situation due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The furloughed positions included six full-time employees. The city also left nine permanent positions unfilled and chose not to fill any seasonal positions this summer.

In addition to employee furloughs and a hiring freeze, the city is only performing normal or emergency repairs to keep all departments functioning. There will be no capital spending or new projects.

April sales tax data was released June 10.

Mayor John Moore said the city of Williams is hopeful that May sales and BBB tax revenues will be higher than April.

“It’s anyone’s guess as to what percent we’ll be down, because we don’t know,” he said. “We know in the early part of May there weren’t many people in town, and there wasn’t much money being spent. But as May started to increase, we should see some increase in sales tax income.”

Moore said it is difficult for city managers to make plans with the current level of uncertainty in sales and BBB tax revenues.

“If things continue to look like the sales tax revenue in April, we will have to take a very serious look at where we are at,” he said. “Hopefully, and it’s expected, it will climb back up in May. But there is no way to guess how much or at what percentages.”

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