Tukwila Mayor Jim Haggerton transmitted his proposed 2011-12 Preliminary Budget Oct 4 to the Tukwila City Council, outlining deep cuts to programs due to reduced revenue. The preliminary budget proposes more than $4 million in program and service cuts as necessary to re-balance the city’s finances. Adoption of the proposed budget will result in spending cuts and reduced programs and services in virtually all city functions.
Tukwila has experienced a significant decline in sales tax revenue over the past two years and property tax receipts have historically lagged behind the growth of inflation. With the cost of providing city services continuing to climb, earlier this year the mayor and City Council identified a multi-million-dollar gap between expected future revenues and expenses.
Forecasts indicated the city could be faced with an inability to meet its financial obligations within the next few years if this gap is not closed. Steps were taken this summer to cover a portion of this gap through increased revenues. The proposed cuts will affect a broad range of city services, including parks and street maintenance, recreation programs and police and fire services.
Faced with deep cuts, the City Council is asking for community members’ thoughts regarding the budget. Councilmember Joe Duffie made a plea to citizens at the Sept. 27 council meeting, saying, “we appreciate your input on what’s important to you in the city, but what we also need to hear is where you can stand to see service reductions. If it were up to you, what would you cut? That’s what we want to know.”
The Tukwila City Council has scheduled a public meeting for 7 p.m. Oct. 11 to hear from citizens regarding the preliminary budget. The meeting will take place at Tukwila City Council Chambers, 6200 Southcenter Boulevard.
If unable to attend this meeting, community members are encouraged to submit their comments and suggestions in writing. Written comments received no later than 5 p.m. Oct. 11 by the City Clerk’s Office will be distributed to the City Council prior to the meeting.
A copy of the preliminary budget and additional information on proposed program and service reductions can be viewed at City Hall (6200 Southcenter Boulevard) or on the city’s Web site.