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Tulsa City Councilors Table Budget Cut Talks, Want More Info

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Tulsa city councilors and city staff meeting at city hall. Tulsa city councilors and city staff meeting at city hall.
Tulsa city councilors held a budget meeting with city staff. Tulsa city councilors held a budget meeting with city staff.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

The City of Tulsa finds itself $2-million in the red after estimates for this year's revenue fell short of what was expected.

Thursday, Tulsa city councilors held a budget meeting to discuss where to go from here.

The majority of the City of Tulsa's income is based off of sales tax revenue - about 70 cents of each dollar. Even though numbers are up compared to this time last year, they fall short of projections. Through the fiscal year to date, the city has brought in $64.6 million which is about $2.2 million less than the $66.9 million that was expected.

10/4/2013 Related Story: Tulsa City Manager: $3 Million Budget Shortfall May Mean Cuts

City leaders say even though Tulsa is growing, and city government is spending less than expected; they still are trying to determine why the numbers are falling short.

They say one reason could be the instability of the federal government and that other cities in Oklahoma are experiencing similar issues.

Tulsa has a reserve fund, but city councilors would like to avoid dipping into that in case the city has another natural disaster like the spring wind storms.

"I don't view this as a problem, because we're not that far off from where we should be," said City Councilor G.T. Bynum. "What it really is is an opportunity and a reason for us to force the city government to operate more efficiently."

The $2.2 million the city is short is actually closer to $1.7 million, because the City of Tulsa will receive around $450,000 in payment from the Tulsa International Airport for fire services the city provides.

Councilors opted to table the discussion until the budget meeting in another two weeks.

At that meeting, councilors are scheduled to be presented with cost cutting measures from the City Manager and Finance Director.

Councilors will also look at the KPMG study conducted a few years ago by financial advisors to help the city cut, outsource or consolidate city services.

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