Weak economy challenges Columbus' city budget - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Weak economy challenges Columbus' city budget

By Web Staff – email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) –   Monday was the first day for Columbus mayor Teresa Tomlinson's balancing of the city's 2012 budget.    

She said a continuing weak economy, looming state budget cuts and increased pension obligations will present challenges to city leaders.

The city's 2011 budget of $280 million required using about $5.7 million from the city's reserve fund for it to balance.

That is something Tomlinson does not want to repeat.

Tomlinson warned- continuing, even increasing, austerity at the state level has a way of trickling down to cities.

"It is one of those things that's causing cost up front. With us having to prepare for population expansion, if the payoff is big and so I think that's one of the reasons why we held a steady course and not have some economic disasters that some of the other communities have had," said Tomlinson.

She also said a weak economy hurts cities that are heavily reliant on sales taxes, as opposed to property taxes, like Columbus.

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