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COVID-19 costs Ripon $200,000 in sales tax loss
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Sales taxes and the recreation income are two of the City of Ripon's General Fund revenue sources most impacted so far by the COVID-19 pandemic.

City Administrator Kevin Werner said just that at the recent City Council meeting.

"Every month, we receive sales tax revenue from the state," he said, referring to the City's true-up payments based on actual sales received for August, November, February and May.

The sales tax revenue through September was down 22 percent or $198,000. Werner compared figures from fiscal year 2019-2020 to 2020-2021.

"Sales tax revenues were $200,000 lower than last year," he said.

Werner noted that part of the reason for that was the misapplication of funds by the state.

"November will show more COVID-19 impacts," he said.

As for the recreation revenue, Werner indicated that's down $106,000 or 92 percent compared to last year.

Popular programs such as flag football, soccer, and basketball were cancelled in March. The City continued to collect sign-up fees in hopes that sports would open.

"Unfortunately, that didn't happen," said Werner, who added that refunds for soccer ($30,000) are still being processed.

All events at Mistlin Sports Complex for the exception of the Rage Volleyball Club came to a halt. With it were the loss of rental and lease revenues.

The fields did get some use recently with soccer conducting conditioning and tryouts within the health guidelines.

Recreation Director Kye Stevens, meanwhile, has been in talks with other cities in search of creative ways to provide opportunities for local youths.

Werner will continue to provide updates.