The lien was later released, but Aragon Mayor Ken Suffridge said it will not relieve the city of the debt. He said Aragon must now make tough decisions because of financial issues which include a $55,000 IRS payment plan for back taxes; $28,000 less in revenue from local option sales tax; $22,000 in unpaid 2012 property taxes; a $5,000 increase in Workers’ Compensation Insurance; a $5,000 increase in cost of fuel; a $5,000 estimated increase in goods and services and a $3,000 debt to the State Department of Revenue for back taxes.
“Being conservative, I’m assuming our revenues will be $150,000 to $160,000 short going into the last half of the fiscal year,” Suffridge said. “This is a very serious situation and should not be taken lightly.”
He has met with city staff and asked each department to implement cost-saving measures. They have been instructed to identify any non-essential equipment and vehicles that can be declared surplus and sold to provide money to the city’s general fund for operating expenses.
Suffridge said he has asked the City Council to make cost-cutting recommendations prior to March 15, which is the beginning of the budget process.
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