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Corpus Christi faces $10 million budget shortfall

Corpus Christi City Mayor Joe McComb (left) with United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce President Cleofas Rodriguez Jr. at the State of the City luncheon March 28. The luncheon was held at the Solomon P. Ortiz Center in Corpus Christi. Courtesy photo

The city of Corpus Christi will begin the 2019 fiscal year short $10 million, Mayor Joe McComb told a a packed house at the State of the City luncheon held by the United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce on March 28. An annual fundraiser for the chamber, this year’s luncheon was the first held since the 2016 elections. Then-Mayor Dan McQueen resigned before a date could be set for the 2017 luncheon.

According to McComb’s presentation, 92 percent of the city’s taxes pay for 3,000 city employees, including in fire and police departments.

“This is not sustainable if you want a city with other amenities,” McComb said. “There is no magic money, no hidden slush fund.”

McComb asked for suggestions from the public for how to balance the city’s $882 million budget, which is due to be finalized in September.

The shortfall is being attributed to city employee salary increases. City Council granted a 2 percent increase to police officers and retirees. Regular employees will receive a 2.5 percent increase in 2019, while firefighters will receive a 3 percent raise.

Revenue — mainly sales and property tax receipts — is not expected to increase.

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