Mayor Jerry Sanders confirmed today that next year’s budget gap is now projected at more than $60 million.

City officials now expect to receive $16 million less revenue in the 2009-10 budget year than in earlier projections that pegged the budget shortfall at $42 million to $54 million.

Estimates for next year’s revenue are based off of this year’s figures. Based on sales tax receipts reflecting the weak 2008 holiday shopping season, city officials now believe they will receive $2 million less in sales tax revenue this year than they stated in the midyear budget report released Feb. 27.

It’s not only decreased revenue that’s making the budget shortfall grow. City officials have added in expenses such as community plan updates and operating costs for new facilities, which weren’t included in the original figures. The mayor’s spending proposal will go before the City Council next month.

Sanders said he’s looking to labor concessions to make up a large part of the shortfall to avoid closing libraries, which he has said will not be a part of his budget proposal.


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