Tulsa County Board of Commissioners Chairman John Smaligo announced today that much of his focus this year will be on the budget. Spending cuts are being proposed due to increasing fixed costs, such as health insurance and benefits, coupled with low growth in revenues.
Divisions directors were asked to prepare plans to cut at least five percent near the end of last year. Some divisions have reorganized to eliminate positions and costs, while other divisions are planning for cuts in the near future.
Tulsa County officials have forecast only marginal growth in revenues this year, with the likelihood of nearly flat revenues over the next several years.
“The budget will be a major issue for us this year,” Smaligo said. “Planning for cuts now is a way for us to be proactive in managing our finances for the next several years.”
“Growth in revenue is just not keeping up with our current operating costs, so this is an important step to ensure our long term financial stability,” said Tulsa County Fiscal Officer Jim Smith.
“Our goal is to reduce spending. Acting now will help us get ahead of any future budget challenges,” Smaligo said.
“I agree with the direction Commissioner Smaligo is proposing. Planning early on will certainly help us in the future and it is good that we started making adjustments last year,” Commissioner Fred Perry said.
“I’m grateful that we have a dedicated staff of division directors and managers who are willing to work with us to address the issues we face in the budget,” Commissioner Karen Keith said. “I know we will come up with a plan that saves considerable money while limiting the impact to the services we provide.”
The budget process for Fiscal Year 2013 begins in March, with meetings of each office and division with elected officials and fiscal staff.