Collierville cuts employees to meet budget - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Collierville cuts employees to meet budget

By Jamel Major - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

COLLIERVILLE, TN (WMC-TV) - It's a budget crisis that's forcing Collierville to pinch every penny. 

City spokesperson Mark Heuberger said Tuesday that Collierville is dealing with a one million dollar budget shortfall, and will have to make some layoffs within city government.  The town is cutting 18 total positions, comprised of 12 that are currently filled, and six that are vacant.

In order to balance the budget, Heuberger said, Collierville had to choose between cuts or a tax increase.

"Our mayor and board of alderman did not want to raise property taxes and did not want to put that type of added financial burden on the whole community," Heuberger said.

According to Heuberger, the town's budget relies heavily on sales tax revenue.  However, shoppers like Janice Townsend just aren't spending as much.

"I don't shop like I used to," Townsend said. "I don't buy as many groceries."

"We have a mall, a lot of shopping and dining opportunities here in Collierville, but if people are not spending as they were a year...year and half ago, it affects the sales tax," Heuberger said.
 
In addition, Heuberger said, construction permits are down.

"Two years ago we were building and permitting over three hundred homes per year, and this year we're looking at possibly doing more than fifty," he said.

"Nobody's spending money," Townsend said.  "They can't afford to."

Employees who are laid off will receive a severance package, and will be allowed to keep their medical benefits through June 30th.

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