CLAYTON, Mo. (KMOX) Denying that St. Louis County is on the verge of a budget crisis, County Executive Steve Stenger says he has no plans to cut services or raise taxes.
“I am absolutely adamant,” Stenger said in a news conference. “We are not raising taxes and not cutting services.”
Stenger spoke out after reports that the county is projecting a $6 million budget shortfall, which County Councilman Sam Page describes as “an impending budget crisis.”
In a letter to Stenger, Page warns the county cannot continue to dip into its reserve accounts to balance the budget.
Stenger’s own budget blueprint warned the county has been forced to use reserves to fill the gap between spending and revenues:
“This will require the use of reserves to cover the gap between revenues and spending. Absent any changes to revenue structure (i.e. property tax rate) or programs and serves (service reduction or elimination), this portion of reserves will be exhausted din 2019.”
Stenger claims the county has four reserve accounts with a total of $100 million in reserves, and he says the county can make up the shortfall through attrition.
Page and Stenger, both Democrats, have been clashing frequently on the council over a variety of issues.