Fort Worth’s sales tax collections between this past April were down 13.3% compared to last April, according to new numbers released this week.
Terry Hanson, the city’s assistant director for Planning and Data Analytics, said sales tax revenue in April totaled about $11.5 million. April was the first full month of the stay-at-home order.
“So, it was approximately $3 million short of what we were anticipating, which is significantly better than what we originally forecasting when the pandemic initially hit,” Hanson told NBC 5. “It shows that it wasn’t as impactful as we initially feared. We are still being conservative in how much of a rebound there will be, but it definitely wasn’t as a deep as we were initially anticipating.”
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Currently developing their 2021 budget, Hanson said future collections will continue to provide a better understanding of the economic impact from the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re going to be modifying our budget based on what we’re seeing but right now, it’s definitely better than what we anticipated. We are still holding back and there will definitely be an impact in 2021 compared to what we originally thought in early February,” he said. “We were preparing for a really worst-case scenario. Thankfully, it’s not turning out to be that way. We still do have cuts and cost restraints in place but as we get these numbers, we’re looking at relieving these restraints and getting everything back as soon as possible.”
Like other businesses, Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth has felt the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. They opened their doors to the public Thursday for the first time since mid-March.
Keitha Spears, marketing director for Billy Bob’s Texas, said months of planning have gone into their reopening.
“Only now did we feel like we -- with the government mandate and our capacity -- were safely ready to go ahead and do this and do it right and do it well,” Spears said. “This place is a lot of things, right? We do have our restaurant. We are a bar. We have a museum. We are a mall, if you will because we’ve got our retail stores. We fall into so many categories. The last thing we wanted was to jump in too soon and be a problem for anything.”
For now, they are offering limited hours and occupancy, Spears said. There’s also measures in place like temperature checks for patrons and masks for workers.
Despite the setback, Spears said the nearly 40-year old business is not letting the pandemic stop them for good.
“There’s no secret that it’s had its ups and downs and things like that, so though this a completely new scenario for everyone, I think this club has shown, it’s resilient,” she said.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.
**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.