Council Plans to Use Reserves, Not Raise Taxes, to Close Budget Gap

The Benicia City Council said raising taxes would be a last resort.

In an effort to fill the city’s $1 million budget gap, Benicia City Councilmembers said they’d rather dip into reserves than raise taxes.

Benicia City Manager Brad Kilger said cuts have already been made, but staff would take another look at services and programs for possible savings, the Times-Herald reported.

Over the last three years, the city has cut about 25 employees and reduced the pay of city staff by 10 percent. Those cuts have made it harder to keep up with demand and to attract and retain employees, according to the staff report.

Councilmembers shared other ideas for filling the budget gap, like working to grow the local economy or to delay a $600,000 payment that would close the city’s old transit fund, according to the Benicia Herald.

The budget gap is mostly caused by a drop in property tax revenue, according to staff.

No final decisions were made at Tuesday’s council meeting as they plan to develop a long-term budget strategy over the next 18 to 24 months.

In February or March, the city plans to hold a one-day study session to take a closer look at the top priorities. During the session, staff will also preview the budgeting process that will occur over the next two years, according to the Times-Herald

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Joe Feltcher January 24, 2013 at 07:44 PM
Scott Burford January 24, 2013 at 09:52 PM
Thanks Council members for this level-headed approach. Raising taxes should only be a last resort, IMO.
Nick P January 25, 2013 at 02:29 AM
Good job council!
AL January 26, 2013 at 04:19 AM
I'm thinking it would not be their decision to raise taxes- that can only be decided by a vote of the citizens


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