NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - New Hanover County commissioners met Tuesday to start working on the budget for 2010-2011 and discovered they already have to make up for an $11 million shortfall.
Commissioners say a decline in sales tax revenue and reduced state funds are to blame for the deficit in next year's budget. They also project a lost revenue because of the pending annexation of the Monkey Junction area.
County leaders are now talking about how to balance the budget, but say they don't want to furlough employees because that hurts customer service and county morale.
County Commissioner Jonathan Barfield says it comes down to cutting more services or raising taxes.
"Do you want to close the library even more? Do you want to close down your library and your parks?" said Barfield. "Those are questions that the citizens of New Hanover County will have to answer in terms of are they willing to sacrifice certain things to have a reduced tax rate or are they willing to pay a little bit more to have some of the quality of life initiatives that we have here in New Hanover County."
County commissioners say they have some hard decisions to make and are asking people who live in New Hanover County to email them and let them know what they would like to see done about these budget issues.
Click on the commissioner's name to send an email: