City manager: Cut 5 percent from your budgets

That’s the word from city manger Mary Suhm, who has told her top aides to prepare for further declines in revenue the rest of the year, including sales tax receipts. The sales tax take was 11.9 percent short in December.

Glad to see she is staying abreast of the news with our handy clip and save sales tax chart. After the jump, a few highlights from the manager’s warning:

Suhm and Mayor Park Cities said it’s not time to panic yet, and Suhm “stressed that to date the budget is balanced, and she is simply planning for the possibility of further revenue declines.” Right. And I’m not going to be a year older in May. 

The mayor said that the budget the council passed in September was “solid,” but that changing times require preparing for a number of scenarios. "When that budget was passed to right now is almost a different world," he said.

Only if you live in a different world than the rest of us, which the mayor apparently does. By September, Bear Stearns had already collapsed, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were on the verge of collapse, and the International Monetary Fund had said the sub-prime mortgage crisis had turned into "the largest financial shock since the Great Depression" and there was a one-in-four chance of a full-blown global recession over the next 12 months.

And the mayor supported a budget that called for sales and property tax revenues to increase. Guess he didn’t know something that the rest of us didn’t know.


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