UPDATE:

On Thursday, Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird announced her plan to fill the city's budget gap.

She said the City Finance Department is projecting an almost $7 million sales tax shortfall for the current and next fiscal years.

In the first year, the mayor is asking to dip into the city's cash reserve fund.

"Our cash reserve is an important tool to protect the city from unforeseen circumstances and this action maintains and protects our healthy cash reserve for the future," Gaylor Baird said.

For the 2019–2020 fiscal year, she's also recommending $3 million in cuts.  She said some of that will come from department budgets and the rest will be money that was going to be transferred to street work on the condition that sales tax revenue projections were met.

The mayor said it will not impact the revenue from the voter–approved quarter–cent sales tax increase.

"Once in hand, that revenue will support street improvements that will begin in the spring of 2020," she said.

Because property taxes for a lot of people went up recently, the city is expecting an extra $1.8 million in revenue.  With the gap and that extra revenue, she said her proposed budget does not increase the city property tax rate.

The public is welcome to comment on her proposal at the city council's Aug. 26 meeting.