Mayor Projects $11 Million Budget Shortfall - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Mayor Projects $11 Million Budget Shortfall

Another year, another deficit.

On Friday the mayor announced a projected 11 million dollar deficit for the next budget year.

Virg Bernero, Lansing Mayor: "We are down to the bare bones now, that's the truth."

With a continued decline in property tax revenue and cost increases in employee wages, health insurance and pensions, the mayor says its going to mean more cuts.

Bernero: "I have no choice, I have less money every year and I have a job to do."

So where should the cuts come from?

Last year voters approved a millage for police and fire and roads that's expected to bring in more than 6 million dollars in 2014, but even that may not be enough.

Bernero: "I cant guarantee that there will be no cuts, I can only guarantee that our top priority will be public safety.

But the mayor says with 85 cents of every dollar going to personnel, it's going take concessions from unions.

Bernero: "There's probably a few million dollars in savings that could be had that way which would mean then that we don't have reduce services."

But if you ask him, the deficit problems wont' go away long term without changing the way cities do things.

Bernero: "We cant just keep doing the same thing the same way." We would be far better off with a regional approach, so that big expensive services like police, fire, roads, transportation are funded on a regional or county basis."

But right now the city is focused on working out how to bridge that 11 million dollar gap.

Bernero: "There's no more low hanging fruit, we have been making adjustments steadily."

And it seems the only thing you can count on is that there will be cuts.

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