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Long Beach eyes $7M in cuts, temporary tax hike
In a rough outline of the city’s 2012-13 budget, Long Beach officials said they will need to cut $7 million from personnel expenses across all labor units and raise the general fund tax levy by 4.1 percent simply to present a balanced spending plan.
City staff presented the budget to council members privately Tuesday. The bare bones blueprint includes slashing $1.78 million from departmental spending.
However, in order to make up the projected $10 million deficit for the current fiscal year, city manager Jack Schnirman said the city will pay $3.3 million annually for three years via a separate tax bill, meaning an additional temporary tax increase of 11.9 percent for residents.
The budget blueprint warns that “if the city does not follow through on spending cuts, personnel cost reductions and necessary property tax revenue in order to reduce the staggering deficit left by the previous administration,” the city would be forced to boost taxes by 41 percent and lay off roughly 75 employees, or 20 percent of its labor force.
“If savings targets are not reached collaboratively, we will have no choice but to pursue severe reductions in staffing numbers unilaterally,” the blueprint reads.
The City Council will hold public hearings on the budget on May 15 and 22 at 7 p.m. in City Hall, 1 West Chester St. Officials will accept budget suggestions made through the city’s website, longbeachny.org, until May 15.
The council will vote to adopt the budget on or before May 31, and it will take effect July 1.
Above: Long Beach City Hall