March sales tax numbers for the City of Winfield have turned out close to what was projected, although officials expect further declines for future months due to ongoing fallout from business closures caused by the coronavirus.

March sales tax collections in Winfield were a little more than $259,000, according to state documentation provided by Winfield city manager Taggart Wall. Projected sales tax receipts show the city expected to collect 89 percent of the budgeted amount in March, a decrease of 11 percent. These projections show further declines are expected for the rest of the year.

Wall said the March 2020 numbers are essentially flat when compared to March 2019. He attributed that to increased consumer spending at local grocery stores before shelter-in-place orders began in mid-March. Wall said that April sales tax receipts, which the city should receive in June, will give a better idea of what consumer spending looks like during the pandemic. Many local businesses were either closed or operating in a limited capacity for the entire month of April.

“We continue to monitor those numbers and fully anticipate the sales and use receipts to dip as we move forward,” Wall said.

“Sales and use receipts lag the economy by about two months, so as we move into June and July we may begin to see the largest impact from the economic shut downs that occurred to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

The city has put several equipment, vehicle and other capital projects on hold due to the decrease in tax dollars.

“Our first job is to be good stewards of the tax dollars entrusted in our care,” Wall said.

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