Louisville Metro Government agency directors have been told to reduce spending in light of a 12.7 million dollar budget deficit.
The current budget was built around a projected seven million dollar drop in revenue, but high unemployment continues to affect occupational tax revenues.
“In essence the mayor has told all the heads of the agencies—public works, economic development, the health department—to keep a tight watch on your budget, find ways to cut,” says Mayor’s spokesperson Chris Poynter. “But we’re not going to have to cut services. We’re not going to take the drastic measures we did last year when we had to close some parks, reduce library hours and so forth.”
This is the third straight year the city budget has had to be cut. Mayor Jerry Abramson hopes to make this round of reductions without affecting public services. The shortfall will mostly be covered by reductions in overtime and freezes on travel.
Poynter says if a recovery doesn’t come soon, more cuts may be required in the next fiscal year.
“Potentially: we’ve still got two more quarters for this year and we start building the budget for next year right around April, so we’ll start that process shortly,” he says.
Over the past two fiscal years city officials have had to close budget shortfalls of 13-million and 29 million dollars, respectively.