Las Vegas Sun

October 2, 2014

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Layoffs on table in dealing with LV budget shortfall

City council to hear options from city manager, chief financial officer

Las Vegas City officials will continue to consider how to deal with more than a $400 million shortfall during the next five years — including laying off city workers — at Wednesday's Las Vegas City Council meeting.

The meeting, scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. at city hall council chambers, will include a presentation from Mark Vincent, the city's chief financial officer, on the state of the city's budget.

Vincent and City Manager Betsy Fretwell are expected to outline a series of options, including layoffs and other cost-savings measures, plus ways to boost the local econony.

The city's consolidated tax revenue continues to drop, indicating the economy has not yet bottomed out.

The last estimate, made in May, showed the city is dealing was dealing with a 240 million shortfall during the next five years.

But now that shortfall is estimated to have doubled to more than $400 million because of the decline in sales taxes.

The city has already begun trying to figure out how to deal with the loss in revenue with its project "Your City, Your Way," which was set up to get public input.

The project involved taking a survey for finding out what citizens' priorities are for city government, getting public input on a Web site at www.lasvegasnevada.gov/yourcity, having UNLV sociologists conduct focus groups in five parts of the city to discuss budget cuts and holding town hall meetings in January and February in each of the city's wards.

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