The city of Tulsa lives on a sales tax diet. We are not spending as much as city leaders had expected. That means sales tax collections are below expectations.
That decline is having a real impact on the city budget. While, we are only three months into the fiscal year, Tulsa has already missed budget expectation by over $3-million. If that trend were allowed to continue, Tulsa would be nearly $12-million in the hole by the end of next June.
In Oklahoma, municipalities are not allowed to deficit spend. City Finance Director Mike Kier met with City Councilors yesterday to map out options. Mayor Bartlett has order a hiring freeze, but other belt tightening measures may need to be taken.
After the 2008 recession, the city did set up a rainy day savings account to address such shortfalls. However, the account does not have enough to make up the entire predicted shortfall.