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Friday, Aug 01, 2014

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City may need to hit reserves again before 2014 budget closes

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— Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s finance director told Tampa City Council this week, it looks like the city may have to draw another $1 million from its reserves to balance the current budget by the end of September.

Council members sat in stony silence as Sonya Little explained that falling revenue from a tax on landline phones and rising personnel costs were pushing the city’s budget farther out of square than originally expected.

The city is likely to go back to the reserves again to balance its 2015 budget, which is currently looking like it will be $10-15 million in the red, Little said.

Since taking office in 2011, Buckhorn has drawn down more than $22 million from the reserves left behind when Mayor Pam Iorio left office.

Little said the additional drawn-down for this year will leave the city with reserves equal to about 25 percent of its operating budget. Bonding agencies generally require a 20 percent ratio for low-cost borrowing.


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