Thursday, December 17, 2020

Fiscal State of the City

On Tuesday, at the last Common Council Finance Committee meeting of the year, city treasurer Heather Campbell reviewed the City's financial state in the year of the pandemic. Of the City's major revenue streams, revenue from parking is 50 percent of what was budgeted for 2020, revenue from building permits is 84 percent of what was budgeted, and revenue from sales tax, lodging tax, and mortgage tax is 67 percent of what was budgeted. Of those tax revenues, sales tax is 71 percent of what was anticipated and lodging tax is just 21 percent of what was expected, but, as evidence of the pandemic-driven real estate boom in Hudson, revenue from mortgage tax is 110 percent of what was budgeted.

Campbell reported a $1,757,660 decline in revenue in 2020 and predicted the City would end the year with a revenue loss of between $1.5 and $1.8 million, which will have to be made up by drawing on the fund balance. The 2021 budget that was passed in November was balanced with, according to Mayor Kamal Johnson, "just over a half million" from the fund balance. In September, Campbell told the Finance Committee the fund balance at that time was $2,748,452. It doesn't take advanced math skills or even a calculator to realize we are getting very close to running out of money in the fund balance.

On the expense side, Campbell reported that spending in 2020 was the same as it was in 2019. The amount for 2019 was $9,302,222; the amount for 2020 was $9,280,823. In 2019, there was $300,000 in CHIPs (Consolidated Highway Improvement Project) expenditures, which did not occur in 2020, so in actuality, spending in 2020 was $278,000 more than in 2019.


  1. And still, the 17 lamps on poles in the City Hall municipal lot have been on nearly EVERY DAY I have walked past it in the past two weeks. Completely gray, partially gray, mostly blue skies, LIGHTS ON. Somehow City Hall, and particularly the DPW, finds this acceptable. it's embarrassing.

  2. The mayor, his aid (who received a large raise in this year's budget), and our incompetent common council should all be ashamed. The city revenue is down $1.8 million yet they spent almost $300K more than in 2019? WHAT? Not to mention they distributed almost $400K of lodging tax revenue to fund dance parties and other nonsensical endeavors that they claimed promoted tourism (which was obviously a failure in light of the loss of tax revenue). The failure and fecklessness of our current city government in a time of crisis is shocking!

    1. its all about dance parties and feeling good. for now.

      later on when the city is broke and the streets are not cleaned up, the reality will very slowly sink in.

      in todays environment, no one is responsible or cares much about anything but the next few hours. Its like being back in grade school. a bad one.

  3. Mr. Darby is 100% right: the complete lack of leadership is glaring in our current City government. It's abundantly clear that no elected official beyond the Treasurer has any interest whatsoever in how their actions (or lack thereof) affect the people and businesses that make up this city. The performance of the Mayor, his office and the Council members is pathetic -- they should all be ashamed of themselves for their inability to do a job. But I'm sure they're not.

  4. Unfortunately, the lodging taxes from AIRBNBS
    and the annual added revenues from the sales taxes generated by the AIRBNB clients will no longer float the boat in the City of Hudson.

    I am glad that the citizens are wealthy enough not to need that revenue and can bear the substantial rises in city taxes that the Mayor and the City Council over the course of the next decade will have to impose to stay solvent. local Hudsonites are clearly "rolling in dough" and do not have to worry about it. You out there just have to fund the coming deficits.

  5. Party on people......let the others eat cake....but don’t you dare increase taxes....well how else you gonna keep the cow. Stop spending increase sales and lodging taxes.
    Pay to play you lovely touristas

  6. Electing people to manage city government is like hiring someone to run a corporation with a multimillion dollar budget. Unfortunately, the vetting process for a corporate managment position requires qualifications, whereas a local election has none, but is more akin to a popularity contest or an election for a high school president. So you end up with representatives who are unqualified, have no educational or business experience and for all we know may not even have balanced a checkbook. Whose fault is that? You get what you vote for.