To quote Mad Magazine’s Alfred E. Newman “What, me worry?”
It has been reported that the city faces a potential $24 million dollar shortfall in gross receipts tax revenue for the 2017-2018 budget.
It is the biggest budget gap since 2011. (For full story see January 5, 2017 Albuquerque Journal “City faces potential $24 million shortfall”)
Mayor Berry says he is not worried, that it is manageable and the shortfall can be addressed without tax increases. Really?
Republican City Councilor Don Harris, the chairman of the Albuquerque City Council budget committee says the city may have to consider a tax increase.
I have no doubt Berry and City Hall are not at all worried about the shortfall.
City Hall and Berry will simply do what they have done in the past.
There will be more severe budget cuts, personnel cuts, cutting of essential services, layoffs and furloughs in order to avoid a tax increase at all costs, even if it affects essential services and public safety.
Berry is probably elated over the shortfall because this once again gives him an opportunity to reduce the size of city government even further, privatize some essential services and veto any tax increases.
Berry and the city council will never worry about a mere $24 million shortfall, not when they have revenue bonds that do not have to be put to a public vote.
Mayor Berry and the Albuquerque City Council have borrowed over $63 million dollars over the past two years to build pet projects like pickle ball courts, baseball fields and the ART bus project down central by bypassing the voters. (For full story see January 2, 2017 Albuquerque Journal “BYPASSING the Voters” page A-1).
Berry and the Albuquerque City Council so far have used $13 million dollars in revenue bonds to pay for the ART Bus project that was not voted upon by the public.
It has been reported that the $69 million dollar smalls starts grant from the Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) has been slashed to $50 million.
Why worry when you can always find the money in Berry’s world of finance.