We've been hearing how much COVID-19 is costing in terms of health.

Tuesday, we heard predictions on how much it's costing our economy.

Executive Director of Finance Paul Wesch told the Mobile City Council it's more of an art than a science to determine how much COVID-19 will cost the city of Mobile from loss of business.

downtown mobile

But he's using methodology used by the comptroller of New York City, before that city was shut down, and making estimates for Mobile in the foreseeable future.

Wesch said, "We will see about a 20 percent decrease in retail sales tax, an 80 percent drop in restaurant sales tax and a 20 percent occupancy in our hotels. To give you a little reference, we do know anecdotally, that our hotels are looking today at about a six to twelve percent occupancy rate."

Wesch says these are estimates on how much COVID-19 will cost the city of Mobile in revenue from loss of business over two months, April and May.

The figure: just over $7 million a month.

Wesch said, "We're indicating maybe a 30 percent drop in revenue for those two months. That could extend if this crisis extends, if the flattening of the curve doesn't happen early enough, but we don't think that we'll have a shorter period."

But Wesch says there is some good news.

He says the city has a surplus to weather the storm and it doesn't expect to borrow money, or have drastic furloughs of employees or make cuts in services.

All content © 2019, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved.

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