Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009 | 9:31 p.m.
North Las Vegas may need to cut another $7 million from its budget before next summer because tax revenue and growth-related fees continue to come in below expectations.
The city’s financial director, Phil Stoeckinger, told City Council members Wednesday night that the recession and high unemployment likely will force the city to make corrections in the current fiscal year that ends June 30, 2010.
That could mean cutting programs and services, renegotiating concessions with unions and reviewing fees the city charges, Stoeckinger said.
The city estimates consolidated taxes will be $3 million less and growth-related fees will be $4 million less this year than projected in May.
North Las Vegas’ unemployment rate is 14.8 percent, according to the city’s figures. That compares to 13.1 percent for Las Vegas and 12.5 percent for Nevada, as of July.
Growth-related revenues peaked at more than $90 million in 2006. The city expects those same sources will bring in about $45 million this year.
“I don’t know if we’ve seen the bottom yet,” Stoeckinger said.
Mayor Pro Tem William Robinson said the city could be doing more to cut costs.
“There’s a whole lot of cost savings that we need to do and should have been doing long before we had the glossy picture of how great things were,” he told City Manager Gregory Rose.
Rose said the cost-saving measures employed so far took care of the “low-hanging fruit” and more will be done after the council determines what the priorities should be.
“We are at the point now where we have to begin talking about the core services the city of North Las Vegas provides,” he said.