City Of Tulsa Could Start Another Round Of Spending Cuts
TULSA, Oklahoma - The continuing downturn in the economy is prompting new city budget cuts. Next week, the City of Tulsa could start another round of spending cuts.
No one in Tulsa knows more about the city budget than City Finance Director Mike Kier, and he doesn't like what he's seeing.
"We actually didn't have a year to year decline in sales tax until last month, our February check was actually smaller than the year before," Kier said.
That change is prompting city hall to take yet another look at cutbacks.
Kier said Tulsa city government is feeling the delayed effects of the drop in oil prices.
"And so the decline in the price of oil means there's less business taking place, you're seeing layoffs in that industry and that means fewer dollars being spent," he said.
The city has a new laundry list of pending cuts, totaling $6.2 million, much of it from a hiring freeze and delayed spending.
Departments like computer services, parks and engineering stand out for major cuts, but there are dozens of smaller cuts citywide.
Kier said he thinks next year will be much worse than this year because the economy and sales tax may not have yet hit bottom.
“I think trying to gauge how far down we'll go is always a challenge. While we know it's declining, we don't yet know where that bottom will be,” said Kier.
Meanwhile, the city is working on next year's budget and looking at how to further scale back city services, outside of police and fire.
Current List of Planned Cuts: