Based on the current five year forecast, the City of Albuquerque will face a $54.6 million budget shortfall in fiscal year 2011 in addition to the shortfall already identified for fiscal year 2010.
The five-year forecast, released January 11, by the Berry Administration, identifies an additional $39.8 million dollars in funding requirements combined with an $8.8 million reduction in revenues as compared to fiscal year 2010. A number of factors play into the shortfall, including prior agreements with police and fire unions, added costs for employee benefits, and a reduction in gross receipts tax revenues.
“Now is the time to set the foundation for fiscal responsibility as we move forward.” said Mayor Richard Berry. “We are using this budget shortfall as an opportunity to identify savings within local government while providing good basic services to the citizens of Albuquerque. The actions we take this year and next will be difficult, but will ultimately set the foundation for a more efficient government and a better value to the taxpayers over the coming years.”
In order to balance the budget, Mayor Berry has already taken a number of steps. The mayor has met with every department head and has directed them to identify efficiencies and cut spending. The administration will also work closely with all labor unions and will ask them to bring their cost savings ideas forward.
"The budget has to be balanced by law, the goal is to balance the budget in such a way as to create savings and efficiencies as we move forward." said Mayor Berry. "This will need be a collaborative effort between my administration and the City Council, and I am confident we will get the job done."