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City faces escalating shortfall in sales tax revenues
Thursday, April 9, 2009 by Austin Monitor
“We projected sales tax revenue for the entire year to be $15.6 million below budget, or 6 percent below our fiscal year 2008 actual sales tax revenue… the year-to-date revenue decline is greater than the initial 6 percent projection,” Chief Financial Officer Leslie Browder said in a memo distributed Wednesday to the City Manager and members of the City Council. “On a cumulative basis for the first five months of fiscal year 2009, our collections are down 10.1 percent compared to the same five months last year.”
The city has already undergone one politically difficult round of budget cuts in response to the drop in sales tax revenues. Staff is expected to bring forward additional cost-cutting recommendations, along with a revised five-year financial forecast, in a Council work session later this month.
“We are continuing to track the savings generated from vacant positions, holding as many of these positions open as long as possible. As we discussed during the mid-year budget reduction presentation, an assessment of all services and programs for their effectiveness and efficiencies will be required as part of next year’s budget development,” Browder said.
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