(KCPW News) He says he doesn't want to raise taxes or "cut and run." But Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon admits his budget proposal for next year includes significant cuts to most county departments.
"There were some cuts. And a lot of the cuts were out of the new requests that people were asking for," Corroon says. "We did cut the budget by $11 million from last year. So it's fairly significant for us. You know that includes the inclusion of new raises and things like that. So we had to take some significant cuts in some worthy programs."
Cuts include the elimination of the open space bond coordinator, holding off on buying new computer equipment for the county auditor, and decreasing the county recorder's budget by about $1 million. The budget also includes cuts to the Sheriff's Department, mainly for court services and investigations. But, the sheriff also received roughly $5 million to open and staff Oxbow Jail. Mayor Corroon says this reflects his top priority for the 2009 budget: public safety.
Corroon says he was able to balance the budget this year without raising taxes. And he doesn't think the county will need a tax hike in 2010, either.
"We're not raising property taxes for 2009. We're able to balance the budget. We're looking ahead to 2010 and we're going to do that by requesting that each department and elected officials reduce the number of employees they have overall," Corroon says.
The county plans to cut five percent of its 4,100 employees, equivalent to about 175 full time positions. Corroon revealed his budget proposal to the county council yesterday. The council will vote on the budget in December.
Listen to Corroon's budget proposal below: