Austin poised to lose 260,000 jobs and millions in revenue due to COVID-19
KVUE — The Austin City Council met Tuesday, April 7, to discuss some of the economic impacts COVID-19 has had so far on city finances, as well as projections for the future.
According to the council's presentation, Austin stands to see 261,275 potential job losses. Estimates also put the city at a revenue loss between $38.3 million and $57.6 million.
Experts said consumer activity (retail and personal services) and hospitality are the two sectors hit first and hardest by the virus. And the City of Austin is seeing the impacts strongest in sales, lodging, and mixed beverage taxes.
One figure provided by the city suggests hotel occupancy is down 95 percent compared to the previous year.
Some of the city enterprise funds severely impacted by the coronavirus include:
- Hotel occupancy taxes: The virus has impacted programs at the Convention Center, Historic Preservation, Cultural Arts and Music Funds.
- Airport revenue: There has been sharp declines in parking and landing fees, as well as concession revenue.
- City parking fees: Fewer people are paying to park in Downtown Austin.
Meanwhile, Austin Energy and Austin Water have seen a moderate impact from COVID-19. Reductions in commercial usage has been partially offset by increased residential usage. Rate reductions and tier changes for residential customers are also being put in place.
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