State Pressures City for Deep Cuts to Memphis Budget

State Pressures City for Deep Cuts to Memphis Budget

Some Memphis mud is being splashed all the way to Nashville, and it concerns politics and the State Comptroller.
MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) - Some Memphis mud is being splashed all the way to Nashville, and it concerns politics and the State Comptroller.

Local 24 News talked with Comptroller Justin Wilson, who says politics has nothing to do with his looking at the Memphis city budget. He does say if the city council can't balance the budget and deal with long term problems, then somebody else will.

Memphis City Council members know what they have to do. The trouble is they don't know how they're going to do it. In fact, they don't have a clue.

Their problem is your problem. You didn't ask for it, but you got it.

The city is in debt; they must pay $25 million this year and $21 million next year. Well, let's say you have to pay it.

Plus there's more than a good chance of a big property tax increase, and there will be cuts in services, possibly layoffs.

The state comptroller is telling council members: do something or somebody else will do it.

"Like most people you try and avoid painful choices. But we are at a point where we can't afford to put them off any more," said Councilman Shea Flinn. "We're going to have to buckle down and get it done. I think the letter is helpful because it spotlights issues we have to tackle."

Here's another problem - too much kicking the can.

"As long as you continue to kick the can down the road, which is basically deferring obligations to future years, you're creating a problem that gets worse and worse," said Wilson.

Wilson says politics has nothing to do with his letters warning Memphis to get with it. A new program his department started this year indicated the big city on the bluff had big problems. Fix them, he says, and he's definitely not bluffing.

"This is extremely serious and we have to take it very seriously," said Councilman Myron Lowery. "You know we can't afford to let someone else do for the city council what we should do ourselves."

City council is scheduled to take up the budget again next week. They also planned a special meeting the week after that. They'll probably need a lot of meetings because right now, nobody knows what to do.

Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus