Tacoma faces $26M budget gap

During study session today, Tacoma City Councilmembers received an update on the 2011-2012 budget. The update acknowledged that due to falling revenues and unexpected but necessary expenses, the City now projects at least a $26 million General Fund budget gap. The General Fund budget, which pays for basic services such as police, fire, libraries and residential street repairs, will require a new budget strategy to address the shortfall. With a stagnant local economy and rising costs, the City cannot work to close this gap without impacting all General Fund service areas, and the solution to the budget challenge will likely require staff reductions. There will be follow up budget presentations in the coming weeks. This is the budget workshop calendar:

Nov. 1

— Study Session: Mid-Biennium Budget; High level strategy to address budget gap

— Public Hearing: Ad Valorem Tax

Nov. 15

— Study Session: Budget Workshop

— 1st Reading: Ad Valorem Tax Ordinance

— Public Hearing: Mid-Biennium Budget Modification

Nov. 22

— 2nd Reading: Ad Valorem Tax Ordinance

Nov. 29

— 1st Reading: Mid-Biennium Budget Modification Ordinance

Dec. 6

— 2nd Reading/Adoption: Mid-Biennium Budget Modification Ordinance

Today’s budget presentation is available online at http://www.cityoftacoma.org .