GRAND ISLAND – Grand Island Mayor Roger Steele says that, after speaking to Governor Pete Ricketts, the city will probably have to continue social distancing until at least August. He mainly referred to large gatherings of people and he said it will probably be not possible to open up the water park or the Lincoln Pool, considering the expenses and the uncertainty of when they will be able to allow groups of people in close proximity.
He also said they do not know the degree to which the pandemic will affect their tax revenue. They are projecting a 12 percent decrease in sales tax revenue.
Which means a loss of 1.5 million dollars to our general governmental fund for the fiscal year, ending September 30th. Overall, we are projecting a 5.6 percent decrease in all revenues for the general fund, which equates to 2.2 million dollars.
City staff is currently reviewing all operating purchases, capital expenditures, and city programs and trying to find savings anywhere possible. Food and beverage tax collections were down in April by 24 percent, or $50,000 compared to April of last year. They estimate to lose $437,000 in revenue for the remainder of the Fiscal year.
Keno proceeds are down 42 percent and they expect that trend to continue. These projections can change monthly and the city is planning on a substantial revenue reduction for the 2021 budget year.