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City Braces for Tax Shortfalls

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By Marina Giovannelli

Wilmington, NC –

The City of Wilmington is on a lean spending diet. There's a hiring freeze in effect and the city is in the process of reducing expenses by $5 million dollars.

So the Wilmington City Council will hole-up Friday to take a close look at the city's budget.

The council will likely hammer out a plan to reduce the city's expenses by $10 million, even $15 million if necessary. Going into next year, Mayor Pro Tem Jim Quinn says city officials are expecting shortfalls in property and sales tax revenues.

"We've not ruled anything out. We're taking the attitude of lets delay things. We've got a number of capitol projects on hold," says Quinn.

But Quinn says budget cuts will be carefully considered so as not to disrupt city life.

"Our emphasis is to try and not let the public even know that there's a problem, to try and do it in such a way that there's no reduction in services," says Quinn.

Despite a tight budget, Quinn says the city's finances as in good shape, and he adds that the city has a AAA rating with lending agencies.

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