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Burris Outlines Cuts for "Worst Case Scenario"

Springfield City manager Greg Burris outlined to City Council Tuesday his recommendations for “worst-case” budget cuts if voters reject the proposed sales tax increase in February, and if the economy does not improve. KSMU’s Jennifer Moore caught up with the city manager and has this report.

City Council is asking residents to approve a one cent sales tax increase on February 3rd in an effort to make up for a severe shortfall in the City’s police and fire pension fund.

At the Council luncheon Tuesday, Burris outlined what he’s calling “worst case scenarios,” meaning what the city will do if the proposal fails and if sales tax revenue continues to decline due to the souring economy.

Burris said he’s working hard to retain the city’s core services, but everyone’s got a different idea of what a city’s “core” services are, depending on what’s important to them.

He estimated that if sales tax revenues are as low as 1.5 percent for both the current and upcoming fiscal years, the city would need to cut almost 6 million dollars from its budget.

Among the budget recommendations Burris put forth were:Not renewing the contracts of some city employees, eliminating contributions to area non-profit organizations, eliminating police support for community races and special events, and suspending the merit-based pay increase for city employees. Such a scenario would also mean cuts to city parks.

Burris says he’s optimistic that the one cent sales tax increase will pass on February 3rd, and that these potential scenarios will not become reality.

For KSMU News, I’m Jennifer Moore.

LINKS:

Springfield's "CityConnect" - View Burris' budget letter and watch the meeting