TriMet facing major budget gap


TriMet predicted it may be facing a $12 million to $17 million budget shortfall next year.

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TriMet predicted it may be facing a $12 million to $17 million budget shortfall next year.

General Manager Neil McFarlane told the regional transit agency’s board of directors during its Wednesday morning meeting that he would appoint a budget advisory committee to generate ideas during the next few months to close the funding gap.

“The trends are now unmistakable,” McFarlane told the board. “There are now serious threats on the horizon.”

The new budget takes effect July 1, 2012. McFarlane said TriMet has already cut $60 million from its past few budgets. The current budget is $444 million.

McFarlane told the board the shortfall resulted from several factors: a poor economy, which is expected to reduce payroll taxes $3 million below previous estimates; reduced operating grants from the federal government, which traditionally total around $45 million; and, a new labor contract that will likely cost the agency more than expected.

Read more at The Portland Tribune.

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