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Public Health New Mexico

Bernalillo County Ponders Budget Shortfall

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Bernalillo County is facing a $19 million dollar budget shortfall next year, and jobs and grants to nonprofits could take a hit.

With costs rising and income staying flat, Bernalillo County is trying to figure out just how they’ll balance the budget for the upcoming fiscal years.

“We can’t spend like there’s money coming out of the trees, so we have to manage how we do things,” says Shirley Ragin, Deputy County Manager of Finance. The county will have to consider hiking taxes, freezing open positions in the county, or having county employees take unpaid leave days to save money.

“We have everything on the table, we have to look at everything as we’re going through this process,” she says.

Ragin says whatever cuts happen, critical services like police, fire, and environmental health wouldn’t be affected. But the budget squeeze could also make it harder for the county to fund nonprofit groups that work in things like addiction services or community development.

The county commissioners will vote on a final budget next month.

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