Tacoma announces budget reduction

Tacoma City Manager Ray Corpuz, Jr. announced Friday that Tacoma will cut the General Fund budget by 1.95 percent by year’s end to balance an anticipated $6 million shortfall fro 2001-2002.

On Oct. 12, Corpuz asked department directors to submit plans for a 1.95 percent budget reduction by Oct. 26.

In addition, he asked directors for a contingency plan detailing a 3 percent cut if the economy continues to falter.

The city’s General Fund budget is $312 million, out of a total city wide budget of $1.8 billion.

Corpuz and Office of Management, Budget and Analysis Director Diane Supler will present final budget adjustment recommendations for 2001-2002 General Fund budget to the city council at its Nov. 13 study session.

In August, the city implemented a hiring freeze and forecast an estimated $4.4 million shortfall for 2001.

Since that time, the city’s revenues have not met projections.

“The economy was on a downturn before the Sept. 11 tragedies,” Corpuz said.

“But now we are seeing serious deficits in our revenue sources, especially in sales tax and interest income. People are staying home more and spending less in these uncertain times.”

Corpuz and other jurisdictions, large and small, are facing similar budget challenges.

“Even our neighbors to the north, Seattle and Bellevue, are experiencing serious shortfalls,” he said.