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City To Wrap Current Shortfall Into Future Deficit Reduction Plan

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Aired 11/23/09

The city of San Diego’s independent budget analyst says there is already a multi million dollar short fall in the first quarter of this fiscal year. However she is not recommending any cuts - at least not yet!

The city of San Diego’s independent budget analyst says there is already a multi-million-dollar short fall in the first quarter of this fiscal year. However she is not recommending any cuts -- at least not yet.

Independent budget analyst Andrea Tevlin says the shortfall for this quarter, just over $7 million, is a foretaste of the much larger deficit projected for next year -- $179 million.

She recommends the council wait and consider how to close the current shortfall as part of the mayor’s overall budget proposal.

“There will be recommendations put forth for 18 months worth of reductions, starting in January,” Tevlin said, “to address the full $179 million deficit.”

Next year’s deficit is more than twice as large as the budget gap the city had to close this time last year. Falling tax revenues and rising pension obligations are to blame, as well as an ongoing structural deficit the city is struggling to solve.

City services like police, fire, parks and libraries only survived last year because city employees took a 6 percent pay cut. The mayor says service reductions are inevitable next year.

Sanders is expected to release his budget proposal tomorrow at 1 p.m.

The city council is scheduled to debate his plan in December.

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