XENIA — Like many municipalities across southwest Ohio, the City of Xenia is expecting a money crunch due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But how much and for how long are the million dollar questions.
“It’s too early to know how deep the economic impacts will be at this time,” City Manager Brent Merriman said in an email.
Finance Director Ryan Duke said in April that the city could expect around a 20 percent reduction in income tax revenue for a three-month period. But that was before the tax filing date was pushed back to July.
“It will likely be September before we have a good idea of how big the impact will be,” Duke said via email, adding that lodging and gas tax revenues are also expected to dip.
He called the expected reduction “significant.”
Some cities have announced staff reductions in an attempt to save money. Merriman said it’s not time for Xenia to follow the lead from others.
”Most of the layoffs that have occurred in the region have been parks and recreation staff,” he said. “We eliminated these programs long ago. As far as layoffs or furloughs, we will take necessary steps when we have to. We would take every step possible to avoid layoffs which would be an absolute last resort.”
Duke previously said the city was proactive in reducing expenditures by eliminating business travel and conferences, postponing certain capital expenditures, and by planning to leave some positions unfilled as they become vacant.
“There will likely be some amendments to the original plan for the 2021 tax budget as we begin to prepare that in the coming weeks,” Duke said for a previous story.
Business closing and correlated unemployment are also having a trickle-down effect on other sources of city revenue.
The city does maintain a reserve so operating expenses can be met.
“If however it is necessary to use some of the reserve funds, then we will have to develop a plan to replenish these funds,” Duke said in April.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.