Glendale officials looking to fill budget hole left by hockey

April 16, 2012

The Glendale City Council begins a daylong budget session Tuesday to figure out how to close a $35 million shortfall. The recession and payments to the National Hockey League have left the city in a hole. KJZZ's Al Macias reports.

AL MACIAS: Glendale's revenues fell over the last several years as the housing market crashed. City planners say the assessed valuation of all property in Glendale has dropped by 52 percent since 2009. That means less money to pay debt service on general obligation bonds and to fund some projects. A big chunk of the shortfall also comes from a $25 million management fee the city owes the National Hockey League. The city committed millions to the NHL to keep the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale. City revenues fell short the last three years and the city dipped into its reserves to meet budgets. But now those funds are dwindling. Staff recommendations include raising taxes, cutting programs, leaving vacant positions empty and laying off up 52 city employees. The council will not make any final decisions today. The budget must be set by June.

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