PETERSBURG-AK Petersburg sales tax was down roughly five percent for the 2010 calendar year. Recent months have shown some improvement according to finance director Jody Tow, but she still expects it will be another tough budget year. For the past few years, costs have exceeded revenues in the City’s tax-supported general fund. That fund includes the departments and services that can’t pay for themselves – like public works, police and fire, parks and recreation and education. Education costs are a particular concern since forest receipt payments under the federal Secure Rural Schools Act are set to expire next year. That program provided roughly a million dollars for the City to spend on local schools.
The City’s draft budget for 2012 won’t be ready until early April, so it will be a while yet before the City Council has to decide whether tax increases or spending cuts will be needed to make ends meet.
Right now, department heads are working on their individual budget requests. Last week, Matt Lichtenstein stopped by the City Finance Office to speak with Jody Tow about the budget outlook
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