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The Town of Marana has enjoyed strong tax revenues over the past few months despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s negative impact on the larger economy.

The national GDP dropped by more than 30 percent at the beginning of the outbreak in the United States and since then, national unemployment has risen to 10.2 percent. However, Marana has reported strong revenue numbers and received additional funds from the federal CARES Act.

During the Sept. 1 council meeting, Marana Finance Director Yiannis Kalaitzidis said Marana’s hotel occupancy rate fell by about 10 percent and hotel revenues fell by about 11 percent in July compared to last year. The number of issued housing permits remains strong in Marana, with 855 single-family housing permits issued in fiscal year 2020 compared to 802 in 2019.

In April through June, restaurant and bar revenues dropped by about 20 percent, while retail revenues increased by six percent. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Marana officials anticipated a sharp drop in sales tax revenues. But revenues only took a minor dip in April and May, and came back even stronger than projections from before COVID-19 in June and July.

“However, it is still too early to determine what’s going to happen as our future really does depend very much on the federal relief funds, how effective they’re going to be and if we find a solution for the virus,” Kalaitzidis said.

The Town of Marana passed a reduced budget for fiscal year 2020-21 in anticipation of the negative financial impact of the Coronavirus. The town government slimmed their budget by deferring capital projects, delaying or freezing new hires and restricting budget capacity in certain departments.

Kalaitzidis recommends the council stay with this current budget and monitor new revenue numbers closely in order to anticipate future changes.

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