Blame it on La Nina – or perhaps just radically divergent budget philosophies.
Whichever the case, the Tacoma City Council is now questioning a $6.6 million discrepancy of projected utilities tax revenues built into City Manager Eric Anderson’s proposed city budget for the coming two years.
And, judging by reaction from at least one council member Tuesday, the disputed figure in Anderson’s spending plan should be changed before the council ultimately approves the 2011-12 general fund budget by year’s end.
“I think we have to go back to the drawing board on our revenue assumptions,” Councilman Jake Fey said. “… The proposed budget from the city manager needs to be reduced by $6.6 million.”
If that happens, Anderson likely will need to find trims equaling that amount elsewhere.
“If the council wants me to reduce it, I’ll do what they want me to do,” Anderson said. “I just don’t know how yet.”
The discrepancy at issue comes in projections for so-called “gross earnings taxes” – a business tax levied on total revenues garnered from the city’s power, water, rail and Click! utilities. When putting together their respective budgets for the coming two years, the city’s general government and Tacoma Public Utilities budget officials separately estimated similar tax revenues from all of the utilities – except power.
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