Local News

Tough Times: Cumberland County Struggles With Budget Woes

Posted March 6, 2001 6:00 a.m. EST

— Cumberland County officials are trying to make the best of a troubling financial situation.

A $30 million budget deficit is projected for the upcoming fiscal year. County Manager James Martin must figure out how to make ends meet without raising property taxes.

"This is the greatest fiscal challenge, I believe, that Cumberland County has ever faced," Martin said. He said the county is faced with providing services while keeping the tax rate as low as possible.

Martin outlined the county's goals for this budget:

  • A reduction in the county's vacant positions
  • An addition 1 percent sales tax
  • A review and possible cut of county services
  • Possible job cuts

    Martin says he does not want people to panic about the possibility of job cuts in county government. He says that no final decisions have been made.

    The budget crisis also may delay the opening of the new jail until July 2002.