Jacksonville mayor: Expect budget cuts

Mayor's Office: City faces $32M deficit

Published On: Jul 09 2012 09:15:16 PM EDT   Updated On: Jul 10 2012 10:37:38 AM EDT
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Most departments in Jacksonville should expect budget cuts this year, according to the mayor's office.

Last year, Mayor Alvin Brown's office had a public battle with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office over cuts.

"The mayor has been clear there will be cuts. We don't have a fixed number at this point, but with the kinds of cuts will be tough choices," mayoral spokesman David DeCamp said. "We're really not really going to single out specific departments at this point. But there's a lot of shared responsibilities to balance this budget."

Channel 4 has learned some early estimates of cuts for the city's budget:

JSO expects to have 119 positions cut, but most of those positions are unfilled.

Nearly $4 million could be cut from the library system, meaning some libraries could be closed on certain days and others may have their hours cut.

JFRD estimates about 40 positions will be cut, but many of them are unfilled.

The mayor's office said most of the $32 million the city is over budget comes from a specific area.

"Property tax revenue continues to decline, but we've also had a dramatic increase in pension costs," DeCamp said. "Obviously, that's not due to any problems with the good men and women who earn those pensions, but costs have increased dramatically and one reason why Mayor Brown wants pension reform later this year."