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Proposed Tacoma City Budget Includes Big Layoffs

Deborah Wang

Tacoma officials are proposing slashing more than 200 city jobs over the next two years. That's to bridge a looming budget gap of $63 million.


Tacoma City Manager T.C. Broadnax says the city continues to suffer through economic hard times. Local property values remain unstable, the tax base is eroding and infrastructure needs continue to mount.

Broadnax says for the last several years, the city has been drawing down its reserves to pay its bills. But he says those days are over.

Broadnax: "We cannot do that going forward, it is not sustainable. So there are a lot of things we have got to do, and reset all the expectations of the community, and really shrink this organization to make sure that we are going to be sustainable in the future."

Broadnax gave his budget address before the Tacoma City Council Tuesday. He is proposing cutting 217 positions from city government; 64 of those are currently vacant.

The police and fire departments would each lose 27 officers and two support staff. Several city departments would be merged, and cost of living increases for all non–union staff would be eliminated as well.

The proposals are meant to help bridge a $63 million gap in the city's general fund, which this year will total close to $400 million.

I'm Deborah Wang, KUOW News.

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