04/25/11 164 W - + 0 - 3 Raleigh Faces Touch Budget Choices

That's the headline of this News & Observer article today. The city manager last week gave a preview of the coming budget, and the bleak news therein: smaller raises and reduced benefits for another year, for the city's 3,200 employees. He also pledged to avoid calling for raising property taxes. How bad is the projected shortfall? $8 million to $10 million. How do you make up the difference? As noted in the article, options include "delay buying new vehicles; eliminate vacant positions in at least six departments, excluding police and firefighters; cutting merit pay increases; adjusting employee benefits." Such cuts have been imposed over the past to years, the article notes. The city has eliminated 109 positions, held off on replacing 95 vehicles, and reduced merit raises from five percent to two percent maximum. There's are also bond issues on the table, for streets and housing. Those would raise property taxes. Read the entire article. Or learn more about the city budget.

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