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Officials: City operated at $881K deficit on ‘bogus budget’

November 26, 2018

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) — Columbus, Mississippi city officials say they were surprised to learn the city operated at a nearly $881,000 deficit over the last fiscal year.

The Commercial Dispatch reports City Chief Financial Officer Milton Rawle presented the news to the city council last week. Rawle says decreased sales and property tax collections hurt revenue, while excess overtime for public safety departments increased spending.

Rawle asked council members to correct the 2018 budget to reflect the deficit, which plunged the city’s general fund cash balance to about $1.4 million. Republican Councilman Charlie Box says the 2019 budget was based on 2018′s “bogus budget,” and the situation could turn into an emergency if officials aren’t careful.

He proposed a temporary hiring and travel freeze, and some council members say raising taxes is the answer.

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Information from: The Commercial Dispatch, http://www.cdispatch.com

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