The native economic system is returning to pre-COVID ranges, and fiscal yr revenues to the Metropolis are greater than projected, Chief Monetary Officer Susan Morgan instructed the Spherical Rock Metropolis Council at its Could 13 assembly.
“This presentation of the second quarter report is much more enjoyable than what I needed to current at the moment final yr,” Morgan mentioned. “So far as general financial circumstances, we have now seen an enormous enchancment over the previous few months.”
Throughout her quarterly monetary replace, Morgan overviews financial indicators and reports on fiscal yr up to now revenues. You possibly can watch Morgan’s full presentation here.
The unemployment price in Spherical Rock was 4.8 % for March 2021. Williamson County unemployment claims are down considerably in comparison with March final yr, however nonetheless effectively above pre-pandemic ranges:
- March 2019 – 824
- March 2020 – 9,991
- March 2021 – 4,969
With the COVID-19 vaccine now broadly out there, Morgan anticipates employment numbers to proceed to enhance.
Nationwide and state consumer confidence has elevated, Morgan mentioned, and the State of Texas’ income estimates proceed to enhance as the general economic system, as effectively because the oil and gasoline trade, rebounds.
The journey trade was among the many hardest hit by COVID. All Spherical Rock hotels are open, and different local companies have reopened as effectively, Morgan mentioned.
Lodge occupancy charges are trending sturdy, together with at Kalahari Resorts, which opened in November. Nonetheless, resort occupancy tax revenues are down 9.9 % over prior yr up to now, Morgan mentioned.
The Dell Diamond hosted the Spherical Rock Categorical 2020 season dwelling opening sequence Could 6, greater than 12 months after the ballpark went quiet when final yr’s minor league season was cancelled because of COVID.
Price range influence
The pandemic’s influence on the Metropolis finances hasn’t been as severe as anticipated, Morgan mentioned. Bills are inside finances, and revenues are greater than anticipated.
Yr up to now, general gross sales tax revenues are up practically 24 % over finances, or $7.6 million, which is welcome information, Morgan mentioned. In Spherical Rock, sales taxes fund main transportation enhancements and assist preserve stress off the property tax price, in addition to pay for basic authorities providers. Of concern, Morgan mentioned, is sales tax income from Dell Applied sciences is down practically 10 % yr up to now, and the Metropolis continues to observe that essential income supply carefully.
Property tax revenues are sturdy and inside finances at $68.4 million. Utility revenues are additionally sturdy and inside finances.
Lodge occupancy tax (HOT) revenues, as anticipated, have been hardest hit by the pandemic. HOT and venue tax collections yr up to now are down 9.9 % over the prior yr. The excellent news, Morgan mentioned, is that resort occupancy charges have elevated from 22 % to 79 % since final April, giving her motive to be cautiously optimistic they may rebound to pre-pandemic ranges quickly. There are 551 resort rooms currently beneath building in Spherical Rock, she mentioned.