The cries for federal bailouts will increase from cities and towns as revenue reporting of losses increase.
An early forecast shows that the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County could see over $100 million in losses in sales tax revenue in fiscal year 2020-21, officials said during a METRO Finance and Audit Committee meeting May 20.
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the region’s economic downturn, the transit provider’s reduction in service and falling oil prices, are expected to reduce anticipated revenue for the transit provider, said Phil Brenner, METRO director of management and budget.
“COVID-19 and the collapse of oil prices in the Houston economy are going to affect us,” he said.
About one third of Houston’s economic output is tied directly to oil and gas, according to the Greater Houston Partnership. Sales tax revenue makes up the vast majority of METRO’s revenue—at least 70%—and is collected via a one-cent tax throughout its transit service area.
Source: Community Impact Newspaper