Town Finances Bent, But Not Broken, By COVID-19

By on October 21, 2020

Verona’s finances have been affected by COVID-19 but, so far, the impact has not been as bad as had been feared when the pandemic began.

At the Town Council meeting on Monday, October 19, Township Manager Matthew Cavallo said that Verona has incurred more than $500,000 in costs related to the pandemic, but that that has almost completely been balanced by the $497,986 Verona has gotten from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Verona’s property tax collections have been consistent and remain on budget, Cavallo said. As of October 1, Verona had collected 73.47% of its tax levy, compared with 73.23% as of October 1, 2019. Property taxes are Verona’s main revenue source. One other bright spot: Revenues from construction permits and the Annin Lofts PILOT are ahead of budget.

Revenue from other sources, however, is down substantially. Cavallo said that revenue from Verona’s municipal court and the Recreation Department, as well as its earnings on its investments are down $230,000 this October from October 2019.

Verona is spending less in several areas. The Recreation Department has spent only 43% of what had been budgeted, and we have spent only 34% of what we had budgeted for civic events.

Cavallo cautioned the Council that there will be any financial uncertainties in the coming weeks and months. “The 2021 budget will be a challenging process, he said. “However, the Township’s strong tax base and responsible financial practices have allowed us to navigate the pandemic to date.”

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