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September tax revenue leaves city $1M short

Toledo's income tax revenue fell by $1 million in September, reversing the gains made during July and August, city finance officials said yesterday.

The year-to-date revenue means the city still faces a deficit this year of $3.5 million, Tom Crothers, acting finance director, told City Council's finance committee. "I'm not ready to back off the $3.5 million," he said, adding, "Some of the cost-cutting instituted since June appears to be having some benefit."

Income taxes paid by employers, businesses, and self-employed individuals as of Sept. 30 was $110.3 million - about $1 million less than what was collected in the same period last year and $3.6 million less than what the city projected for 2004.

The largest category, paycheck withholding, totaled $84 million - down $1.8 million from the same period in 2003.

That decline was partially offset by a 9.5 percent increase in income taxes paid by businesses and self-employed individuals. Those two categories totaled $16.3 million so far in 2004, compared with $15.5 million for the same period in 2003.

Mr. Crothers did not say how the administration plans to tackle the $3.5 million shortfall. Previously, the administration raised the possibility of layoffs, and of borrowing from the $2.4 million City Parks Trust Fund.

Councilman George Sarantou, chairman of the finance committee, said income taxes could still rebound.

The city's income taxes have varied widely through the year. In June, withholding revenue plummeted $2.1 million. The category rebounded with increases of $118,728 in July and $549,234 in August but declined $1.3 million in September.

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