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CITY OF LINCOLN   •   NEWS RELEASE   •   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date:
January 24, 2002
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Steve Hubka, City Budget Officer, 441-7698

November Sales Tax Figures above Projections

Mayor Don Wesely today said sales tax collections for November 2001 were $172,142 above projections. It is the first time in the 2001-2002 fiscal year that sales tax receipts have exceeded projections. Prior to the November figures being released, sales tax collections were about $1.17 million less than projected this fiscal year, which started September 1. Sales tax revenues make up 43 percent of the city's tax supported budget. "The November sales tax figures are very encouraging, and we hope this is a sign that the economy is beginning to turn around," said Mayor Wesely. "However, we must continue to be cautious because the biggest unknown factor is sales tax refunds. We hope December sales tax revenues will be as good, but refunds could reduce the gains we see this month." Since the start of the fiscal year, Mayor Wesely has taken action that sets aside almost $5 million in city funds to cover this year's potential shortfall. The measures include:

  • Delaying Capital Improvement Program (CIP) projects funded through the general fund by one year.
  • Eliminating discretionary travel for all employees except for necessary employee training and for travel in which there is no city expense.
  • Reviewing all budgeted capital outlay items in tax supported and tax subsidized funds to see if they can be eliminated, delayed or funded over several years.
  • Asking department directors to identify at least one significant program, service or function in their department that could be eliminated if further cuts are necessary.
  • Introducing a resolution in the future to remove from department budgets 90 percent of re-appropriations from the previous fiscal year.
"The city will continue to monitor spending closely and reduce as many expenses as possible to ensure the budget remains balanced," said Wesely. The Mayor cancelled his own trip to the U.S. Mayor's Conference being held in Washington, D.C. and New York City this week to reduce travel expenses.

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