The City's Budget Shortfall is $131.1 Million, So Far. Forthcoming: Service Cuts, City Hall Layoffs and Fee Increases. And, a Tax Hike?
Here's Suhm's latest "snapshot" presented to the council Friday night -- a lethal combination of declining revenues (sales and property taxes, franchise fees, etc.) suggested expenditure reductions (everything from City Hall layoffs to shutting down the downtown library two days a week -- nothing's spared). Wednesday's council briefing has all the details -- Suhm's so-called "ranking sheets," broken down into six categories (Public Safety; Economic Vibrancy; Clean, Healthy Environment; Culture, Arts and Recreation; Educational Enhancements; and E3 Government). Grim reading on a Sunday morning.
Suhm, though, does have some suggestions for making up lost money -- everything from increasing existing fees and implementing new ones and hiking taxes (on, among other things, coin-operated machines, which don't vote) to cutting city workers' pay to putting ads on the city's Web site to outsourcing the auto pound and code compliance to selling Elgin B. Robertson Park to ... oh, yes, there it is, on Page 11: "Increase Property Tax -- Increase tax rate from 74.79¢ per $100 valuation to 75.79¢ would have $17.02 per year tax impact on average residential home with homestead exemption."