The City of Homer’s new, lean budget was presented to Council last Monday night and will be their budget for the next city meeting. City Finance Director Regina Mauras described the makeup…
Mauras: “There is no big changes with the budget; however, it’s a very lean budget. it includes no COLAS for employees, no increases of any kind. No monies put into reserve accounts. It looks as grim as it has the past few years.
This can basically be described as the “status quo” or “treading water” budget.”
Mauras said the budget was necessarily tight, to ensure a balance account at the end of the financial year.
Mauras: “The economy is still low. We don’t have the revenues that we once had, because we had a few years the Council adopted a vacation for grocery sales tax from September through May of each year, so our revenue has declined from that. Additionally, expenditures are up, such as oil, gas , electric and so our expenditures have increased, as well as the cost of healthcare.”
Mauras said she didn’t see any improvement for the city until the federal deficit and national economy is addressed. Homer’s significant tourism industry is closely linked to the price of energy and employment rates nationwide.