Cleveland Expects Falling Revenue, Rising Expenses in 2015
Mayor Frank Jackson said Cleveland's revenues will fall about 4 percent from last year. Costs, meanwhile, are increasing to cover healthcare and wages for city workers -- as well as to make up for the rising price of road salt.
Jackson said he's balancing the city's half-billion-dollar budget with savings carried over from last year, and hasn't budgeted any layoffs.
He said new development in Cleveland belies the tight budget the city's working with.
"You would think with all this prosperity and things that are going on, that our revenue stream would be higher," Jackson said, "but it's not."
He says Cleveland's position was hampered in the long term after the foreclosure crisis wiped out millions in property tax dollars, and the state reduced aid to local governments.
Plus, Jackson said, the city will lose nearly $7 million this year after voters effectively scuttled its traffic cameras in last November's election.
In addition, the budget doesn't account for unknown future expenses that might come with the Republican National Convention, or with the police consent decree being negotiated with the Justice Department.
Jackson said the his office budgets for revenues and expenditures it knows are coming, "And if things come up in the meantime, then we'll adjust midstream."