Dane County is expecting to lose $25 million in sales tax revenue as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, and that could affect Stoughton and other municipalities, County Executive Joe Parisi told the Stoughton Common Council at its Tuesday, May 12, meeting.
The presentation during the council’s videoconferenced meeting was part of a tour Parisi has been on to provide information to municipalities on the county’s response to COVID-19. Other visits have included Verona and Madison.
Parisi told alders the county budgeted for $68 million in sales tax revenue.
Later in the meeting, Mayor Tim Swadley noted that Stoughton does not rely on sales tax for revenue, but he still expects the COVID-19 crisis to affect the budget.
“We will get a trickle effect from state, federal and Dane County funding on some of our budget items, as well as some of the grants we apply for,” Swadley said. “There is bound to be some sort of effect; we just don’t know what it is going to be yet.”
Parisi also outlined the ways in which the county is providing assistance to organizations and businesses.
He discussed the county’s partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank to provide $3 million of aid to the hunger relief program. That includes four refrigerated semi-trucks at the Alliant Energy Center that are storing food bought from local farmers and being distributed to families.
Parisi also said the county is providing $3.5 million of relief to Dane County’s license child care providers and $700,000 to Public Health Madison-Dane County to hire additional staff including contact tracers – who will help determine whom people who have tested positive for COVID-19 might have gotten it from or given it to.
Ald. Brett Schumacher (Dist. 1) asked about the capacity of the Alliant Energy Center’s testing hub. Schumacher works at Promega, a Fitchburg company that is working on COVID-19 antibody tests that can determine whether a person has had the illness in the past.
Parisi said the testing center, which has free COVID-19 diagnostic tests available to anyone, can handle 800 tests a day.
No appointments are necessary, and the center is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.