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Published: Friday, 7/16/2004

Income tax revenue falls $2M, raising deficit fears

City of Toledo income tax revenue fell by more than $2 million for the month of June, a setback for city officials hoping to avert a $14 million deficit in 2005.

The city collected $8.4 million from income tax withholding in June, compared with the $10.6 million that was collected in June, 2003.

City Finance Director Tom Crothers said he hopes the June figures aren't the start of a trend. He noted that May revenue was $1.4 million higher than the previous year.

Still, Mr. Crothers said, the revenue picture means the city has to redouble its efforts to control spending in 2004 to avoid running a deficit in 2005.

"We are halfway through the year, and this is cause for concern," he said.

Mr. Crothers said the administration is meeting with city union officials to talk about reducing costs. "We've got to make sure we work in concert with those folks, because $14 million absolutely will require some serious discussions regarding personnel," he said.

The monthly revenue report was presented yesterday to city council's finance and budget committee. Committee Chairman George Sarantou said it is too early to tell whether layoffs would be necessary.

The 2.25-percent income tax is Toledo's biggest source of operating cash. Income tax withholding is the largest of three income tax categories. The second-largest category, business income taxes, increased in June - from $7.7 million in 2003 to $8.1 million this year.

The smallest category - individuals who make their own income tax payments - declined from $215,281 in June, 2003 to $133,414 in June, 2004.

Overall, income tax revenue for the first six months of 2004 was $64.2 million, down about 1.3 percent from $65 million in the first six months of 2003.

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