Mayor announces another billion dollar shortfall over next 5 years

    The city’s budget problems have grown because of falling city revenues and rising costs. Mayor Michael Nutter announced two months ago that the city faced a $1 billion shortfall over the next 5 years. Today the Mayor said the budget gap is expected to be at least twice as large. He said the city will look for ways to cut costs and increase revenue. WHYY’s Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

    The city’s budget problems have grown because of falling city revenues and rising costs. Mayor Michael Nutter announced two months ago that the city faced a $1 billion shortfall over the next 5 years. Today the Mayor said the budget gap is expected to be at least twice as large. He said the city will look for ways to cut costs and increase revenue. WHYY’s Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

    [audio: reports20090115nutterbudget.mp3]

    Transcript:

    Mayor Nutter says the last round of budget cuts were challenging. This time he says everything is on the table.

    Nutter: “The first billion dollar deficit was certainly painful and there were many painful choices and we had the ability to maybe to move some of those employees around into open vacant yet budgeted positions. We eliminated 600 vacant budgeted positions in the last go around. It will be that much tougher the second time around.”

    Mayor Nutter said he’ll ask department heads to figure out how they can save 10, 20, and 30% of their budgets by eliminating or scaling back personnel, programs, and services or raising fees or taxes. The Mayor didn’t give specifics on the cuts.

    He says the city will provide information for four community forums, where Philadelphians will be able to offer input.

    The Mayor is expected to submit his 2010 budget to City Council in March.

    Elizabeth Fiedler, WHYY News.

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