Saturday, October 31, 2020

122 Full-Time City Employees Head Back to Work After Furlough Ends

By Alyssa Schnugg
News editor

Four months after 133 city full-time city employees were furloughed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 122 have returned to work.

Of the 133 full-time employees furloughed, five resigned due to retirement or accepted other jobs and six positions were eliminated, according to Human Resource Director Braxon Tullos; however, it was unknown which positions were eliminated.

The city generally has 150 seasonal part-time employees who were also not scheduled to work this summer.

“We are excited to have our full-time employees back to work,” said Oxford Mayor Robyn Tannehill. “We have some catching up to do with our grass mowing and other things and we appreciate your patience as we catch up.”

The Oxford Board of Aldermen voted to furlough the 133 employees in April when COVID-19 shut down local businesses. It was unknown how sales taxes and the city’s 2% food and beverage tax would be affected.

However, sales taxes seem to have taken a softer hit than anticipated.

According to the Mississippi Department of Revenue, as of July 1, Oxford has collected $9.4 million in sales tax, down about $500 from 2019. The 2% food and beverage tax has brought in an additional $355,000, down from $393,000 in 2019, about a $40K loss.