City Council to consider budget options at workshop

The City Council will learn the results of a recent citizen survey and continue to consider options for closing the $18 million gap in the city’s 2003-2004 budget, at a budget workshop this Thursday.
Elway Research of Seattle conducted the telephone survey of 500 randomly selected Tacoma residents to help measure what programs and services are most important to citizens.
Last year’s passage of Initiative 747 and the resulting decline in property tax revenue has contributed in part to the shortfall.
To reconcile the budget gap, the council will consider options for generating more revenue and cutting some General Fund programs and services.
The General Fund receives most of its revenue from sales taxes, property taxes, utility taxes and business and occupation taxes and pays for most of Tacoma’s basic services, such as police, fire, human resources, legal, finance, municipal court and non-utility public works services.
It also includes the city’s contributions to outside agencies, including the Tacoma Public Library, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, the Humane Society of Tacoma-Pierce County and the Metropolitan Park District.
The Office of Management, Budget and Analysis projects the General Fund will bring in $326.6 million over the next two years, while projected expenses will rise to $344.7 million.
The public may attend the 4:30 p.m. workshop in the Tacoma Municipal Building North, 728 St. Helens Ave., in the first floor conference room.
The council will not take any public comments.