The news of late is both good and bad. While sales tax collections continue on an upward slide, COVID 19 cases continue to rise. But let’s focus on the good for the moment.
The State Comptroller reported an upward tick of more than 12% for sales tax allocations to Burnet for May. Of course, the sales tax numbers reported are always a month behind the actual collections so it’s possible that next month’s numbers will drop slightly. But with the Governor opening up some restrictions on retail and restaurants (our highest collectors of sales tax), we should be able to make up any drops fairly quickly.
More good news for citizens is that in order to help offset some of the hardships caused by COVID 19, the City has implemented a utility assistance program to both businesses and residents. Applications for the program are due June 30. More information can be obtained about both these programs on the City’s website at www.cityofburnet. com/coronavirus.
Now for the bad news. COVID 19 cases continue to increase in the county reaching more than 60 cases and now, unfortunately, one death. Seven new cases were reported on Friday, June 15, alone. While some of these cases were certainly due to increased testing that does not account for all the cases. Along those same lines, while some cases were attributable to “nests” of outbreaks, that does not account for all the cases either. Not to be an alarmist, but there is still a very real possibility of contracting the virus and for some at least, it’s a dangerous virus.
Also, I am afraid that many people have taken the Governor’s economic opening as a signal that all bets are off. While we are thrilled to see the movement forward for increasing business, that does not mean that all protections are off the table. The CDC still recommends social distancing, personal protective equipment (including masks), and social distancing, especially for medically compromised folks. And remember, you are not just protecting yourself when you do these things, you are helping your fellow citizens. The positive side of that is that the citizens of Burnet have always stepped up to do the right thing and to help their fellows whenever the need arose. It’s one of the things that I love about Burnet.
I suppose that with the sunshine comes the rain and this too will pass. Hopefully we can focus on the good and take precautions to avert the bad. It’s been Burnet’s history to do just that. Stay safe.
Mayor Crista Goble Bromley