Spa residents could see 8.48 percent tax hike

"We're going to continue to work on our own budgets, what we actually submitted to him, to see if we can't find some more cuts. We're splitting hairs with budget we have, but we'll try to work with him and the other departments to put together something a little more palattable," said Scirocco. "We've had a couple tough go arounds already, the past couple years, so this is nothing new for us. We'll weather the storm as best we can it's a work in progress."

Several general issues made drawing up the 2011 Comprehensive budget a challenge, said Ivins. One was that for years, the city has patched up the VLT loss with one-time money. That one-time money is now running out, Ivins said, and the city has to make some adjustments and "address this once and for all."

He also said property tax revenues are falling short because people haven't been paying them, given the economic times, so the city has started going after homeowners with unpaid taxes of more than two year to recoup some of them.

Ivins also said he's waiting on sales tax numbers for a few months to come in, which would give him a better idea of how the city fairs. The final numbers won't be in until February.

"Last year, things were looking really dire but in November and December, things shot up; but we didn't get those final numbers in until January or February, long after we'd passed a budget and presented a tax bill to taxpayers," said Ivins.

The council set three dates and times for public hearings to discuss the Comprehensive budget, which they have the month of November to agree upon and pass. The hearings will be Tuesday, Oct. 19, at 6:15 p.m.; Thursday, Oct. 28, at 1 p.m.; and Tuesday, Nov. 16, at 6:30 p.m.

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