Tallahassee Cuts Jobs, Consolidates Programs to Balance New Budget

Posted at 5:09 PM, Jul 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-20 14:39:54-04

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) --  City commissioners were busy Wednesday discussing the budget for the 2017 to 2018 fiscal year. This new budget needed to address the $4.5 million deficit, and how to best balance it.

"We have a good city and we don't want to cut services," says Gil Ziffer, a Tallahassee City Commissioner. "We just don't want to do that, so we're looking for as many efficiencies as we can and to the best job we can so people can continue to live in Tallahassee the way they like to."

The city of Tallahassee announced Thursday, that as many as 47 positions would be cut in order to help balance the 2018 budget.

"We have increased pension cost, higher healthcare costs just basically to operate the government," explains Commissioner Ziffer. "So, while we did not raise the millage rate, the taxes are up a little bit because peoples homes have gone up in value. As a result of that, even with all these added costs, we have a balanced budget."

Of course this larger proposed budget comes at a cost from program consolidation to workforce reductions.

"Those are extremely difficult and my heart does go out," says Mayor Andrew Gillum. "These numbers did not escape me. This is probably the most significant set of layoffs this government has had since the financial downturn of 2007-2008.

Of the job cuts being made, about one third of them are transfers, vacant positions, or those planning on retiring. 

The budget has not been finalized or approved yet, although layoffs and restructuring have already begun.

There are two more public hearing meetings in September with the final approval expected by late September.