SLO City finances grow bleaker



San Luis Obispo’s financial outlook is growing worse.

City officials have been estimating a $3 million annual shortfall for the 2011-13 fiscal years. However, that number has grown to $4.4 million a year.

The city quietly revised the estimates for its future structural deficit just as it begins what will likely be a contentious budget process to pass a budget for the next two fiscal years.

The revised figures cast a sober pall over the City Council as it received a presentation on rising staffing costs at its April 5 meeting. The report revealed that city staffing costs had increased 102 percent in the last 10 years, even though the size of the workforce had only risen 2 percent in that time. The city has predicted an ever-increasing hole in the budget for some time—a structural deficit that may grow larger if personnel costs continue to increase.

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