Consequences of COVID-19 shutdown: County sales tax collections down in May

Vicky O. Misa

The effects of the COVID-19 shutdown are beginning to appear as this month's sales tax collections in Pottawatomie County show a significant dip. Most area residents spent the month away from others as a direct result of a shelter-at-home directive from leaders.

As a result, collections in revenue for May were down — as expected — over May 2019. Treasurer Wendy Magnus reported this month's collections totaled $580,625.70, down from the same month a year ago when $677,587.73 was received –– a decrease of nearly $97,000.

Many residents began to retreat from public spaces around mid-March, but last month's data — though it did show a slight decrease — it was not a substantial one. Sales tax collections in April totaled $647,754.99, down $6,310.45 from a year ago when figures totaled $654,065.44.

Pottawatomie County received its first positive case of COVID-19 the last week of March, which spurred the start of added restrictions ordered by Gov. Kevin Stitt.

June tax collections also are expected to be down, as all non-essential businesses were to be closed for the next 21 days — until mid-May.

June numbers averaged over the past 13 years come in at about $607,000, but the average for the past five years has been much higher — nearing $645,000.

Last June brought in just more than $670,000.

Watch for updates.