Little Rock last week balanced its $135 million operating budget for 2009 with the help of a $1.4 million transfer from the solid-waste fund and spending cuts that eliminated a $3 million budget deficit.

City directors also took $1.2 million that had been earmarked for improvement projects that have been abandoned, and eliminated a $1.1 million street-widening project to balance the 2009 budget. The board reduced the current-year budget by $2 million in August due to declining revenue.

Little Rock relies heavily on sales tax revenue for its operating budget. It operates on a calendar fiscal year.

Year-to-date sales tax revenue of $36.4 million is down 5% percent from the same period in 2008.

The revised projection calls for the city to collect $63.3 million by the end of 2009, a 2% reduction from earlier estimates.

Little Rock’s general obligation bonds are rated AA by Standard & Poor’s and A1 by Moody’s Investors Service.

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