Dollar BillsToday, I saw that the Texas Comptroller had the numbers out for Georgetown’s April Sales Tax Revenues. We did better than I was expecting, which is great news.

The Comptroller shows that Georgetown received $2,355,640 in sales tax revenues for April. I have also calculated the Year over Year (YOY) comparisons between FY2019 (FY19) April numbers and FY2020 (FY20) April numbers. The YOY comparisons can be a little tricky though. Certainly Georgetown has grown significantly over last year in population and the number of stores and businesses that support our population.

If you just compared FY19 sales tax revenues with FY20 revenues, you wouldn’t reflect the growth we have had this year. So is that a truly accurate way to compare YOY sales tax revenues for Georgetown?

I wanted to find a way to make those YOY comparisons as accurate as possible. Last year, the City Council increased the FY2020 budget by 6.7% over the FY2019 budget to reflect our growth. To achieve a more accurate “apples to apples” YOY sales tax revenue comparison, it made sense to me to adjust the FY19 actuals from the Comptroller by 6.7% to reflect the growth City Council approved for FY20.

Using the adjusted FY19 revenue numbers, it looks like Georgetown’s April 2020 sales tax revenues were down only -5.6% (- $140,435‬) over the adjusted FY19 revenues. Based on all the news reports and predictions, I was expecting a much larger drop.

Recently, I learned that that the sales tax revenues the Comptroller collects/reports for Georgetown are not the only sales taxes that the Comptroller collects. I discovered that The City directly collects sales taxes from electrical and water usage by the City’s residents and businesses, which are not included in the Comptroller’s revenue numbers.

I decided to start tracking not only the YOY Comptroller’s revenue numbers, but also Georgetown’s FY20 Monthly and Year to Date (YTD) revenues.

FY2020 Sales Tax Revenue Tracking Report

(Click to download the PDF file)

If you click on the FY2020 Sales Tax Revenue graphic to the right, you will see a copy of my tracking document. I will be updating the document monthly.

An interesting thing you will find in the Monthly Budget vs Actual comparisons is that the City’s monthly budget numbers vary each month. It’s my understanding that when the City builds their new FY monthly budgets, they reflect historic monthly trends. That make a lot of sense to me. Think about it, Georgetown retail sales will not reach the same level during a cold, dark February as they would in April with warm, sunny days and the Red Poppy Festival.

Over the last few months, I have been watch live Zoom webinars hosted by Cornell University. They have focused on the financial impact Covid-19 has had on the retail and hospitality industries. Recently they webcast an industry panel discussing “Back on Tap: Strategizing the Reopening of Your Taproom or Brewpub”. If anyone is interested to checking out Cornell’s Zoom webcasts, let me know and I’ll be happy to send you a link to their program…BTW, it’s free.

Keep Washing Those Hands…it’s going to be a long road to recovery.