Tucson City Council Reviews Deep Spending Cuts And Bus Fare Increase

April 09, 2014

Phoenix and Glendale aren’t the only Arizona cities experiencing massive budget shortfalls.  Tucson is facing a $27 million deficit in the new budget cycle that starts July 1. That means deep spending cuts are on the way.

Tucson Councilwoman Regina Romero said it is the sixth straight year her city has had to make cuts to balance the budget. She said sales tax revenues have fallen $250 million since the start of the recession and Tucson may have to eliminate about 30 unfilled city jobs to make ends meet. Romero said Tucson also might raise its Sun Trans bus fares by nearly $2.5 million, but she doesn’t like that idea.

"Traditionally what happens when cities increase their fares is that ridership goes down. So, it’s something we can’t afford to do," said Romero.

Romero said Tucson is also reviewing plans to restructure the city’s television channel to reduce expenses. She said the city is moving ahead to control its rising pension and insurance costs in hopes of saving millions more.