Revenue shortfalls have city making budget cuts
EL PASO, Texas -- City Council announced major cuts Monday, and once again city representatives are blaming the bad economy. Revenue shortfalls have left the city making emergency cuts to all of its departments, including the police and fire departments. City Manager Joyce Wilson told ABC-7 that in addition to bridge fee revenues falling in El Paso during September and October, the first two months of the fiscal year, sales tax revenue is also taking a big hit due to the economy. The most recent numbers project a six- to eight-million dollar shortfall for this year's city budget. Therefore, every department at City Hall is being asked to make three percent cuts. Meanwhile, the police and fire departments, which account for nearly half of the city's annual budget, are being asked to cut two percent. Wilson has yet to see the sales tax numbers from November and December, but she is hopeful the numbers will be better. "If things change and get better, we can loosen up later in the year, but we'd rather be safe early on in the year, anticipating that things are going to be slow for the next six months, then to be really scrambling, because I don't want to dip into the reserves to support operations unless its absolutely necessary," Wilson said. She said one of the ways the city could be more efficient in the new year is to have shorter City Council meetings so all city employees can get back to work sooner.
Written for KVIA.com by web producer Annette Arrigucci
See Video by clicking on http://www.kvia.com/Global/story.asp?s=9620721
Other cities experiencing the same
Click on for IAFF News; http://iaff.org/09News/EconomicCrisisNews.htm
Post your comments on our Blog Topics located on the right column
Funding for Fire Service in Stimulus Bill
Congressional leaders and the Obama administration have agreed on a compromise economic stimulus package that will provide more than $200 billion to states and localities facing budget shortfalls. This critically needed funding will help alleviate the pressure on fire department budgets in communities across the nation.
Competition for Stimulus Dollars Will Be Intense, So Act NOW!
The IAFF was successful in getting funding targeted for public safety. We were also able to get some other important provisions inserted that could potentially provide much needed resources to states and localities in financial distress – which could help you fight cuts. $200 billion is available to your state for different projects.
Message From IAFF General President Shaitberger ;