With city revenues still dwindling, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley yesterday urged labor leaders to agree to concessions including unpaid furlough days ahead of a midnight deadline last night to avoid layoffs.

At press time, the city and union still did not have an agreement.

Chicago officials are seeking work and pay concessions to save money as revenues continue to fall short of budgeted projections. Officials last week announced that the latest figures show revenue so far this year are $135 million below forecasts.

The city has cut costs by $46 million to offset the shortfall, leaving the deficit at $89 million. Officials have warned the year-end shortfall could total $300 million.

“Although we’ve achieved significant non-personnel savings, we will not be able to effectively address the shortfall without further reducing personnel costs because they make up more than 80% of our corporate budget,” said chief financial officer Gene Saffold.

Taxes on real estate transactions so far are $35 million below budget and $44 million down from last year.

Sales taxes totaled $39.5 million, about $2.6 million below projections, and income taxes totaled $18.8 million, down $5.6 million from previous projections.

More than 1,500 layoffs of union employees are scheduled to be implemented today if an agreement on concessions is not reached.

“We have worked hard to avoid layoffs, and still hope to avoid this step. We are making good progress in our talks in an effort to work together to meet this unprecedented budget challenge,” Saffold said. “But we are absolutely running out of time to get that done.”

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