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City of Charlotte projects no deficit for next year

http://66.225.205.104/LM20090203.mp3

While Mecklenburg County is estimating a $90 million shortfall next year, Charlotte City Manager Curt Walton is projecting the City will have no deficit. Mecklenburg County and the City of Charlotte get much of their money from the same places: property tax and sales tax. This year revenue from sales tax has fallen dramatically. But City Budget Director Ruffin Hall says the city relies on other income and that helps to soften the blow. "So while we're having a loss in sales tax some other revenue sources like the utility franchise tax and the business privilege licenses have got some growth in it that are compensating for that," says Hall. Hall is not surprised the county is having some trouble, since it's responsible for providing key social services. And when the economy is rough, demand for these services increases. This year, the City does have a projected shortfall of $7.7 million. But cuts in transportation, solid waste and engineering are expected to plug much of that gap.