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Ming tries to predict COVID-19 impact
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McMinnville officials are attempting to brace for the financial impact with COVID-19 weakening the economy.

The city generates revenue from property taxes and sales tax. With a weakened economy due to COVID-19 business shutdowns, city administrator Nolan Ming is keeping a close eye so the Board of Mayor and Aldermen can be better prepared for what’s to come.

“I’ve been analyzing data sources such as Google’s Mobility Report and Unacast, which Gov. Lee used to issue the recent stay-at-home order, to try to get an understanding of how our community is responding to the stay-at-home order and to try to get a snapshot of how certain industries are being impacted locally,” said Ming.

He said another valuable source of state-specific information is the University of Tennessee-Knoxville’s CORE-19 website. He says the information is very high-level and accurately conveys trends.

By understanding how local businesses are being impacted now, Ming hopes to use that information to generate an educated guess on the future impact to the city of McMinnville’s sales tax revenue. 

The information gathered will be used to predict the pandemic’s financial impact on local government. 

“I’m ultimately looking to gather as much data as possible to be able to make an educated estimate on the impact to our finances for the coming fiscal year (2020-21),” said Ming. “There’s a two-month lag in distribution of state-shared sales tax and local sales tax to local governments. As such, we are currently unable to see what the impact of the stay-at-home orders have had on our local economy. Looking at these sources for data is our attempt to stay as informed and proactive as possible.”

The city’s upcoming fiscal year runs July 1, 2020, thru June 30, 2021. Before it begins, officials must review departmental proposed budgets and prepare a 12-month budget based on those needs and anticipated revenue.