What You Need to Know About Upcoming Budget Cuts in Prescott
City of Prescott employees received an email on August 31st alerting them that budget reductions were coming in order to keep the city current with its public-safety pension obligations. The details about the impending budget cuts are still being worked out according to Prescott City Manager Craig McConnell. Here’s how the changes could affect the Prescott community and what you need to know about the upcoming budget cuts in Prescott.
Possible Layoffs: McConnell mentioned the possibility of layoffs to accommodate the Prescott budget cuts. The city’s general fund – covering police, fire, recreation, development services, general government, economic enterprises, and library – has been identified as the source of the cuts.
Pay adjustments: McConnell’s email also refers to the need to update the city’s pay plans for its employees. Pay adjustments are needed in order to attract and keep quality employees, McConnell said. “As we slip farther away from the market in certain key occupational areas, it will be more difficult to attract and retain quality employees,” his email stated. The first-year cost of such adjustments could run about $1 million in the general fund alone, according to the memo.
Cuts affected by lack of sales tax increase: The announcement of the City of Prescott budget cuts comes in the wake of last week’s voter rejection of a sales tax increase that was intended to go toward the city’s growing obligations with the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS). By a 56-to-44-percent margin, voters turned down the proposal for a 0.55-percent sales tax increase to pay down Prescott’s $70 million in unfunded liabilities with PSPRS. City officials had warned that without the additional revenue, the city would have to make significant cuts in its coming general fund budget to
During the next several weeks, city department heads will come up with recommendations for how to handle the cuts in their respective departments. Until then, the Prescott community awaits the final changes. The council will then discuss the issue again in early November.
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