Tulsa city department heads have been asked by Mayor Kathy Taylor to prepare for budget cuts of up to 7% in fiscal 2010 to help reduce a projected $13 million revenue shortfall next year.

“We’ve advised department heads that if this causes a significant public safety issue or a serious drop in service levels, they should advise us of that, but in this economic time we are not hiring,” she said at last week’s City Council briefing on the budget.

The city’s budget for fiscal 2009 is approximately $590 million.

Tulsa’s sales tax revenue has not met projections over the last three months. March sales tax revenue, which was collected between mid-January and mid-February, totaled $16.9 million, slightly higher than the $16.86 million collected in March 2008 but almost $400,000 less than expected.

Taylor said she probably will dip into the emergency reserve fund to help cover an estimated $3.5 million general fund deficit in fiscal 2009. Tulsa’s reserve fund is approximately $13.7 million.

The fiscal 2010 budget must be submitted by the mayor to the City Council by May 1, and adopted by the council by July 1.

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