Baraka to present amended budget with no layoffs to council on Tuesday

By Naomi Nix | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
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on October 05, 2014

NEWARK — Newark Mayor Ras Baraka will present an amended budget to the City Council on Tuesday, a city official confirmed.

The budget presentation brings a months-long process of steering the city out of a $93 million dollar deficit toward a resolution without laying off city employees.

“This process of closing the budget gap in these first 100 days has been a dominant priority for all of us in the administration but it has been manageable and it has given us an opportunity to gain control of our City’s financial situation, and to make Newark more efficient at collecting revenue,” Baraka said in a statement.

The budget will have to be adopted by the city council before it can sent to the state for approval.

In August, Newark officials asked the state for $31 million in transitional aid--assistance given to municipalities in fiscal emergencies--saying the the city would otherwise have to lay off more than 400 employees or 14 percent of its workforce to balance its 2014 budget.

But in a letter dated September 30th and addressed to city council members and Baraka, the division of local government services said it will give the city $10 million in transitional aid.

But Baraka said in a statement late last week that the city will be able to offer a balanced budget without laying off any employees, in part, by cutting expenses.

The proposed budget is coming just in time. The state said in its letter, the city will need to adopt its budget on or before Oct. 7, 2014 in order to issue its tax bills.

The city council meeting is scheduled to occur on Tuesday at 10 a.m. in the council's second floor chambers.

The local finance board expects to ratify the city's budget at a meeting on Wednesday.

Newark's municipal council first introduced a budget drafted by former Mayor now at-large councilman Luis Quintana's administration on July 1 of almost $800 million.

The proposed spending plan would increase taxes for the average homeowner to $5,333 from $5,082.

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