Despite pandemic, local governments stay in the black

Most end FY 2020 with surplus
Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 3:29 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va (WTAP) - Despite a challenging situation in the last few months of the fiscal year, most Wood County governments finished their fiscal years in the black.

For the majority of West Virginia state, city and county governments, the 2020 budget year officially ended June 30. The state and local governments closed out their books for the 12-month period in late July.

An exception: the city of Parkersburg, which won’t complete its books until the end of August.

Wood County ended with a surplus of $478,000.

Hotel-motel tax collections were down, as expected, due to the pandemic, but revenue on tax collections was higher.

”The regional jail bill was down again this year,” said Wood County Clerk Mark Rhodes, “and we saved approximately $200,000 on health insurance by making a couple of changes throughout the year, so there were some savings on our health insurance.”

The city of Williamstown also finished out the budget year on the plus side.

Stephanie Stengel of the city said an anticipated loss in revenue from the city’s 1% sales tax was offset by collections of taxes on wine and liquor.

The city of Vienna did not have final numbers. But, in the words of Mayor Randy Rapp, “we’re going to be fine”.

Cities and counties have applied for federal COVID-19 relief money under the CARES act. But Stengel says any reimbusement Williamstown gets will be applied to the 2021 fiscal year budget.

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