KCUR News
1:55 am
Thu November 19, 2009

City And ATA Plagued By Larger Shortfall Forecasts

Kansas City, MO – A city council committee got the financial reports it asked for Wednesday, and it didn't brighten Kansas City's budget future.

The latest, most accurate figures show the city has pared expenses by an actual five percent or so, but the general fund balance trails last year's by about six million dollars and as revenues continue to lag, the prediction is now that at current service levels spending in next year's budget will have to be cut by another sixty to sixty-five million dollars.

Finance chair Deb Herman says that's too big a gap to wait till time to figure next year's budget, adding, "My comment would be to the Kansas City manager is that we need to see a plan for mid-year adjustment rather than waiting and having to reduce it at the end of the year. It's very clear that we're going to be short."

Hermann said making more cuts now on the heels of the most recent round will be very painful, but, "waiting we pay a double cost: we pay it this year, then we turn around and pay it next year."

A couple of miles away, the board of the Area Transit Authority was lamenting the same lagging revenues. Its shortfall is turning out to be double what was expected - now estimated at more than six million dollars.

The transit board held off on approving a 71 million budget, and is considering more service cuts and fare increases.