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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Portland's Budget Morass, By the Terrible Numbers

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 4:29 PM

The number, by now, should be drilled into each and every one of our pretty little heads: To balance Portland's general fund budget over the next five years, city council, this spring, must find $25 million in spending cuts. (Or in new revenues, too. Technically. But who the hell are we kidding here?)

To get there, Mayor Charlie Hales told all the city bureaus, even before he took office, that they'd to take a 10 percent cut off the top and then make a convincing case to the entire council for whatever they wanted to add back. If that's hard to visualize, some charts posted by the city's budget office should help.

Cutting 10 percent from general fund budgets will actually shave $38 million in total spending—more than the deficit the council needs to close. Which means, after going through their budget-cutting exercise, bureaus will be left to fight for their shares of just more than $13 million in scraps.

Take a look!


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