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City of Springfield In Budget Crunch Amidst Lower Revenues

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/cityofspri_1126.mp3

Springfield City officials have announced that the city's revenue for the fiscal year 2007-2008 is lower than projected, meaning that the city is in for a serious budget crunch. KSMU's Jennifer Moore has details.

In a press briefing before local media Tuesday, city officials told the press why the city's revenues have fallen short this year. Mary Mannix Decker, director of Finance for the city, said the shortfall is due to lower sales tax revenues. In other words, people are not spending as much money in Springfield as the city had counted on.

The city has already begun tightening the belt. All major departments, including fire and police departments, have been asked to cut their budgets by approximately seven percent.

Mannix Decker says these cuts must be made before the city can honor its contracts with police and fire officials regarding their pension plans.

She said the budget crunch means there is currently a hiring and promotion freeze city-wide. City officials point to the fact that, although the lower revenue is not a good thing for the city, Springfield is not alone in that the entire state of Missouri is seeing lower sales tax revenues for the fiscal year.

For KSMU News, I'm Jennifer Moore.