Wharton: County layoffs possible - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Wharton: County layoffs possible

Shelby County Mayor AC Wharton Shelby County Mayor AC Wharton

By Lori Brown - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - While the city of Memphis claims to have a balanced budget, Shelby County is still looking at possible layoffs to balance that budget.

Tuesday at a Memphis City Council meeting, Mayor Willie Herenton said his upcoming budget will include 3 percent pay raises for city employees.

Meanwhile, Shelby County Mayor AC Wharton says layoffs are posisble for county employees.  Wednesday, Wharton said you can't compare the county and the city because their revenue sources are different.

"For example, we get very little if anything in the way of sales taxes," he said.

Wharton said the county's expenditures are also different.

"Our school funding situation - 362 million dollars going to schools each year," he said.

In the end, Shelby County may not need to layoff the proposed 100 employees afterall. The Shelby County Commission's budget commitee decided to hold off on the decision Wednesday because the county's reappraisals came in higher than expected.

Even so, Wharton said, it is always better to make government smaller.

"We ought to keep asking ourselves every day can we do more with less," he said. "We're going to keep that pressure on regardless of what happens with the reappraisals."

Wharton said he will make sure the cuts don't jeopardize the safety of citizens.  The County's Budget Committee will revisit the proposed 100 layoffs in two weeks.

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