Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer will introduce his budget for the next fiscal year on Thursday. The spending plan will make a number of one-time cuts to overcome a $22.5 million shortfall. But subsequent budget cuts will be grim.
For the last few years, city budgets have become leaner and leaner. Since a full economic recovery could take years, Fischer’s spokesperson Chris Poynter says there have to be serious changes to Metro Government to stop the cycle of flat revenues and cuts to city services.
“I think we all know that the economy is not going to be as robust as it was for many, many years to come. Our tax revenues are not increasing, yet our costs are going up,” he says.
He says Fischer will push for fundamental changes in the next three years. Nothing has been decided, but the mayor could make layoffs, privatize city services or slash the government significantly.
“Obviously there’s no appetite for increasing taxes, so we have to figure out, how do you meet that structural deficit and continue to deliver the most important and needed services to the citizens,” he says.
The next city budget takes effect on July 1st. Poynter says Fischer will begin work on the budget for the next fiscal year on July 2nd.
“Unfortunately this budget does not deal in a significant way with those structural problems,” says Poynter. “We were able find one-time money to help close this $22.5 million gap. Next year’s budget will be very painful,” he says.