The City of Richmond overcame a projected deficit to amass an expected $4.5 million surplus, according to city officials.
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, officials said new budget projections can be credited to Mayor Dwight C. Jones’ spending reductions and aggressive tax-collection efforts.
“The projected surplus is largely due to the tenacity of the Finance Revenue Administration Team to enhance revenue collection efforts and the cooperation of all city departments to reduce spending,” Said Lenora Reid, the deputy chief administrative officer for finance and administration to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
The city originally projected $5.8 million deficit at the end of the third quarter when City Council approved to pull $4.1 million from city savings to close the gap. An additional $1.7 million was covered by higher-than-anticipated revenue.
The city found money for the budget by putting a freeze on hiring for any positions which they didn’t deem critical, limiting discretionary spending by departments and enhancing revenue collection efforts through more aggressive measures such as not allowing taxpayers delinquent on their personal property taxes to register their vehicle.
Governor Terry McAuliffe told lawmakers to prepare for “tough decisions ahead” as he announced a projected $1.2 billion budget shortfall on Aug. 25.
The Democratic governor told the General Assembly’s money committees the shortfall is tied to the state collecting fewer dollars in income and sales taxes than previously predicted.
Although the projected shortfall for the current two-year budget is $1.2 billion, a nearly $280 million shortfall which carried over from the fiscal year that ended on June 30 means the state is looking at a nearly $1.5 billion total deficit.
McAuliffe said he will look to reduce the projected deficit in the current fiscal first year by cutting about $125 million that lawmakers set aside to cover raises for teachers and other state employees and proposed using another roughly $378 million from the state’s rainy-day fund which lawmakers at the General Assembly have yet to approve.
“We are taking a very conservative approach going forward. I would rather take a conservative approach and have to spend money at the end,” McAuliffe told CBS6.
News Editor, Fadel Allassan
Fadel is a junior political science major. He is fluent in English, French and Sarcasm, and he probably doesn’t like you. Fadel enjoys writing about local, regional and national politics and making people drive him to Cook-Out. // Facebook | LinkedIn