Puyallup officials expect to face a $5 million annual budget shortfall in 2011 and again in 2012, which could require them to lay off anywhere between 50 and 94 of the city’s 300 employees if they don’t raise revenue or cut elsewhere, the city’s finance director told the City Council Tuesday night.
If the city were to address the $5 million annual shortfall through layoffs alone, about 50 employees would have to be let go starting in July, Finance Director Cliff Craig said at a council study session to set budget priorities. If the city waits to address budget problems until January 2011, cutting 94 positions would be necessary to close the $5 million gap, he said.
To avoid mass layoffs, Puyallup City Council members told staff at Tuesday’s study session to start looking at other cost-saving measures, including offering a buyout package to retirement-eligible employees and reducing City Hall office hours.
Council members said they weren’t yet ready to discuss implementing a new business and occupation tax, which would apply to businesses’ gross receipts.