PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — The City of Petersburg is facing some major problems regarding finances.
“We have asked every entity that has requested funding from the city to reduce their 2016 budget by 3.8 percent,” Petersburg City Manager William Johnson, III told 8News reporter Nakell Williams.
City officials are trying to make up for a projected $3.5 million deficit. They brought in about $81 million last year, but spent over $85 million. One of the biggest problems the city faced was collecting taxes, or a lack thereof.
“When you look at what was presented in audit, there are tax dollars that are due to the city that we have not been able to collect,” Johnson said.
City resident Gregory Young added, “For those individuals such as myself who pay their property taxes and other taxes on time, the fact they have to try to make up for those expenses is very unfortunate.”
The shortfall could mean major cuts for Petersburg schools, which are already strapped for cash to educate the city’s children.
“What is projected right now for fiscal year 2017 for the schools will be 3.8 percent cut, which equals roughly $400,000,” Johnson said.
A hiring freeze and hounding residents to pay up simply isn’t doing enough.
“The treasurer has instituted tougher and brought in two third-party agencies to go after the outstanding taxes that are due the city,” Johnson said. “That actually started back in 2015.”
The budget will go before the mayor and council April 2nd.
Stay with 8News for updates.