Large budget deficit could mean possible city layoffs

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The city of Memphis in the hole for more than $6 million.  Tuesday, Memphis City Council members learned about the multi-million dollar deficit predicted for this fiscal year.

The city's financial team says it's a sale tax issue - fewer people are going to restaurants and retail outlets, and the projections are worse than they predicted six months ago.

As a result, the city is going to collect less in revenue by approximately $6 million.

In two weeks Memphis mayor Willie Herenton will propose possible buyouts, layoffs, dipping into reserves and cutbacks citywide.

"They might see a decrease in the level of services," City Council member Jim Strickland said. "Library hours may be curtailed, you may cutting the grass may be less frequent, picking up leaves...we don't know. We'll just have to see."

Over $80 million is currently in the city's reserves.  The next budget year for the city does not begin next July.

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