Forecast shows multi-million dollar budget deficit for Albuquerque

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller says the city can cover an almost $6 million shortfall this budget year, but next budget year is going to be a challenge.

The city released its five-year forecast, and it shows a whopping $40 million deficit combined for the next two years.

Mayor Keller says the revenue from the gross receipts tax collected when you shop was $10 million less than projected. The tax makes up 64 percent of the city’s $500 million yearly budget, and it’s driving the deficit.

There are other things too, like a reduction in money from the state to cover the repeal of the food tax. The forecast also points to the city losing money after giving tax breaks to developers, like the group behind Winrock.

Next spring, the mayor and councilors will have to make some tough decisions as they come up with a 2019 budget, which starts July 1.

“Because we have a deficit situation we are really going to have to focus on prioritizing what is important this year for our city, and a piece of that is also understanding that we have got to find ways to step up for our officers,” Mayor Keller said.

Mayor Keller says he will release his priority list next week. He says everything is on the table to find ways to save. When asked about tax increases, he said he hopes to avoid those.

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