First deficit budget approved in Decatur

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DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - Decatur City Council's passed a deficit budget for 2018 in a Monday night vote. 

The budget is in the red by $3.2 million dollars. Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe attributes much of that to the overall state issues. She also says there has been a severe decrease in sales tax revenue due to many Decatur residents shopping online and the money not going to the city. 

The council's approval vote went through by a 5 to 2 margin. 

Wolfe says the deficit is huge even for a city of Decatur's size. She says, "That's a significant amount of money that we've got to either cut back services or come up with ways to cover those costs. And as we move forward, we're expecting that we fund to come to council meetings so they can show us how much they need our support or how they can find other ways of funding. So we'll do our best to make this a win for everybody, but we have to put people on notice that we don't have the resources we need to cover our bills." She says the city funds many entities and does not want to take that money away, but is not sure how long they can continue the full funding.

The council will now begin thinking of long-term plans to find ways to get more revenue and find areas to make cuts.

Councilman Patrick McDaniel says he thinks he speaks for all of Council when he says he does not want to raise taxes. McDaniel says, "We don't want to raise property tax, we don't want to raise any sales tax or any other taxes. People have been taxed to death." He says city staff has done well with lowering expenditures and coming in under budget, so he says hopefully that will continue and help the deficit.

The Mayor agrees with McDaniel saying the city will just have to get creative because raising taxes is not ideal. 

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