The City of North Richland Hills is making budget cuts in all operations, including pay cuts for all full-time employees across the board as it anticipates a shortfall in sales tax and other revenues due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Just like so many families and businesses across the community, we must make difficult decisions and adjust our spending,” City Manager Mark Hindman said. “This is not where any of us expected to be when we developed our 2020 budget plans, but we are facing a challenge unlike any other we have experienced. We must react in a way that continues critical services and does not place additional burden on the taxpayers.”
According to the City of North Richland Hills, the estimated revenue shortfall will be mostly from lower sales tax collections, which account for more than 20% of the city’s annual funding.
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Revenues from permits, fees, and other charges for service are already much less than anticipated for the months of March and April, the City said.
The City said that in order to cut expenditures, the City Manager will close non-emergency city operations for on May 1, May 8, and May 15, with employees losing those days of pay. The lost employee pay will be spread out through the end of the fiscal year.
Public safety operations will not close, but public safety employees will also be scheduled for 3 days off in accordance with the pay reduction.
According to the City of North Richland Hills, the City Manager halted training and travel expenditures, ceased hiring operations, and eliminated or reduced part-time employee hours when facilities closed to the public on March 13.
City departments are also cutting operating budgets to counteract revenue reductions.
“While we are still analyzing the economic impacts and making projections for the remainder of this year and next, we feel that these actions are necessary now to avoid other more drastic measures, such as reduction or elimination of services, down the road," Hindman said. “Combined, these actions will lessen the financial impact to the greatest extent possible and allow us to continue serving our residents.”
The City of North Richland Hills is working with State and County leaders on a plan to begin to re-open businesses in the coming weeks.