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Naples Council Asks City Manager to Develop Various Budget Scenarios

During a brief discussion about the fiscal 2010 budget, Naples City Council members sent a message to staff members, to act now or regret it later. The discussion was prompted in part by an e-mail from Finance Director Ann Marie Ricardi stating that if property values in the city of Naples decline by 15 percent, the city could see a larger deficit than originally expected in fiscal 2010. A $2.1 million revenue shortfall in 2010 would negatively affect the general fund, the city’s primary operating fund, of which
employee salary and benefit packages are the largest portion of that fund. Of the $38 million general fund budget, about $28 million is made up of salaries or employee compensation. The city could face a $5 million shortfall in 2010 with the original shortfall being $2.1 million and additional losses of about $2.9 million if the city decides against adjusting the tax rate to the rollback rate. City Manager, Bill Moss, has said that discussions will take place in the next few weeks since the budget needs to be approved by September 30th. The discussions will include several scenarios at varying tax rates.