New Hanover Co. Faces Potential Budget Shortfall

JANUARY 20, 2006 -- New Hanover County faces a potential $8 million budget shortfall. At a budget workshop Friday morning, county officials discussed the potential gap.

County Manager Bruce Shell said the Board of Commissioners has some options. He says commissioners may have to look at the money spent in each department and consider cuts.

"That's always a possibility that cuts in services would have to be made, but what many of the citizens don't realize is that a large number of services are mandated by the state and federal government. Those types of services can't be cut," said Shell.

Shell says commissioners may look at sales tax increases or property tax increases. However, those increases would be down the road.

Shell says the county hopes to have a final budget by the beginning of July.