City’s Fiscal Forecast is Improving
Albuquerque, NM-The five year fiscal forecast, that will be released tomorrow, shows marked improvements in the City’s financial condition according to city budget staff. The projected shortfall for next fiscal year is currently being projected at $9.1 million dollars, making it the lowest shortfall during this point in the budget process in seven years. When Mayor Richard J. Berry first took office the city was in the midst of a financial crisis that included a shortfall of nearly $100 million.
"We have worked diligently over the past two years to get government back to where we can afford it and those tough decisions are paying off, even as we continue with a difficult economy." says Mayor Berry. “Although we are not out of the woods yet, I am proud to say we are continuing to provide high quality services to residents, while increasing reserves, keeping our valuable employees on the job and addressing the importance of investing in our city."
The Five Year Forecast Projection Includes:
• An assumed single digit increase in the cost of health and dental benefits
• The continued investment into the city’s capital program with the transfer of the equivalent of an additional ¼ property tax mil available for critical infrastructure, economic development and quality of life projects
• Expected 3% growth in GRT for FY13 and growth at 2.6% for FY12
• An additional $200K to the operating reserve as the administration continues to increase reserves above the 1/12th minimum requirement
• Funding for employee raises that were included in last year’s FY12 budget, but not yet accepted by the unions as part of approved labor contracts
• No layoffs
• No furloughs, except for those requested by the unions during the budget process in FY11 in lieu of a pay cut for their bargaining unit
• Funding for additional firefighters for the Westside ladder truck
The process now turns to the budget which is due from the Mayor to the City Council on April 1st of next year. The $9.1 million dollar shortfall will be addressed between now and the submission of the budget.
"We will send a balanced budget to the City Council, and it will include major steps we’ve taken towards being a more efficient and fiscally responsible city." said Mayor Berry. "This continues to be a collaborative effort between my administration and the City Council, and I am confident we will get the job done."