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The City of Hudson Announces $1.6 million-dollar additional funds

The City of Hudson has a $2.5 million-dollar unassigned fund balance, according to an April report from the City Treasurer. That’s $1.6 million more than the $900,000 estimate the Treasure gave in the prior month.

SAVING THROUGH SPENDING DECREASE

Significant savings were realized through spending decreases. Actual expenses were $1.0 million lower than budget, and significantly below forecast. In August of 2020, the Mayor asked all departments to create a spending reduction plan and issued an executive order that all expenditures $1000 or over had to be approved by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment (BEA). This led to savings beyond what the Treasurer’s office anticipated.

SALES TAX

Furthermore, the City’s sales tax revenue was greater than the April 12 report anticipated - by approximately $150,000. Studies have shown that cash assistance to people with low and moderate incomes stimulates the economy because people spend the money locally and immediately on essential services or use it to start small businesses. State and federal programs like increased unemployment assistance and stimulus checks added more money to the economy. Furthermore, the city started a universal basic income pilot program.

“Fourth quarter sales tax was the second highest on record, and is a good indicator of overall economic health,” says City Treasurer Heather Campbell.

The city also participated and led several programs to support businesses. This included the Shared Streets program, the Berkshire Continuity Fund, the Galvan MWBE Fund, and Tourism Board grants.

Prioritizing public health is also a key to a functioning economy. The city took consistent measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus and reduce its impacts on our community. This includes the Hudson Safe campaign and the distribution of essential supplies.

LODGING TAX

While the pandemic has reduced the tourism and hospitality economy, Hudson received more funds in lodging tax than previously anticipated. Ending the year strong with over $220,000 in lodging tax revenue. “It was extremely encouraging to see lodging tax rebound, since it also bodes well for local businesses” says Campbell.

FORECASTING

In addition, the previous report had a miscalculation where some allocations were counted twice, so that it appeared that less money was available than there really was.

ESSENTIAL SERVICES

Throughout the pandemic, the city sought to reduce expenses but prioritized critical services.

“Our employees provide essential services that our residents, businesses, and visitors need,” says Mayor Kamal Johnson. “Every department contributes to our city’s safety and prosperity. During the pandemic, we needed our employees more than ever.”

NO PROPERTY TAX INCREASE

Due to the financial burdens put on citizens in previous years, the city did not raise property taxes.

“Given the fiscal difficulties residents struggled with this past year, we avoided adding to their financial burden," says Common Council President Tom DePietro

FEDERAL AND STATE RELIEF

“The adjusted financials do not include any of our Federal or State Relief funds, the relief funds will make it possible to continue important projects and initiatives.”

The city anticipates additional Federal relief from the American Rescue Act of $667,000, payable over the next two years