City council hopes to reach compromise in budget battle

(WMC-TV) – The Memphis City Council continues to battle over the budget, but for the first time in months, it might be close to finding a compromise.

Memphis city council members spent the day focusing on the 2013 budget and tell Action News 5 they are prepared for a budget battle that could go on for hours.

"That is some good news right there," Councilman Edmund Ford Junior said in reaction to news that Budget Committee Chairman Jim Strickland believes Ford's budget proposal will closest resemble the one the city council finally passes.

Ford's budget proposal calls to cut the property tax rate to 2.98 percent. It is somewhere in the middle of the plan proposed by Strickland, which calls for the lowest rate at 2.91 percent and Harold Collins at the higher end coming in at 3.11 percent.

All three proposals are lower than the current tax rate.

"We are going to get a decrease in the tax rate. I just hope it's more than less," said Councilman Strickland.

Though, which programs and departments get cut in order to get to a decreased tax rate is what kept council members in committee meetings most of the day Tuesday.

"I know every individual who has brought a proposal to the table will now have to balance his proposal," said Strickland.

Though when it comes to actually making the necessary cuts, Strickland says that is what takes the longest time..

"The proposals I have made to cut and other people have made to not affect the core services of the community and really, the citizens won't see a big impact but we can't even get those cut," said Strickland.

A budget proposal must get seven votes to pass. A budget must be adopted by June 30.

WMC-TV's Jason Miles is in the council meeting and will have more on what's decided Tuesday night on Action News 5 at 10 p.m.

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