Rock Hill officials ponder budget shortfall


ROCK HILL — Streaming services such as Netflix and the disappearance of most landlines are reducing the revenue small municipalities collect on telephone and cable bills. In Rock Hill’s case, that dwindling revenue is a factor in a $299,000 shortfall in the 2020 budget.Officials will be looking for ways to bridge that shortfall in the weeks ahead. They will hold another budget work session as they prepare for a final vote on the budget next month.Board members got their first look at the proposed budget at a work session Tuesday when department heads detailed their projected expenses for the coming year. City Administrator Jennifer Yackley stressed that the budget is preliminary. “This is the first time they (board members) have seen it,” she said.The budget calls for no new programs and would give employees a 3% raise.At issue is the fact that general fund expenses are projected to be $3.4 million, while revenue is expected to come in at $3.1 million. After repayment of a loan from the city’s sewer lateral fund, the projected shortfall is $299,000.“Part of this again has to do with the fact that our revenues are not keeping up, particularly with the decrease in telephone tax and cable television taxes,” Yackley told the board.The phone tax is down 26% from 2016 and cable revenue is down 14% from 2016, Yackley said.

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