How to Find Humor in Bad Budget News

July 14 2009, 12:31 PM

hickenloopercroppedDenver's budget problems are growing worse: The city must cut $120 million over the next 18 months, says Mayor John Hickenlooper, citing eight months of declining sales-tax revenues. The $120 million is more than 12 percent of the city's general fund of about $950 million, the Denver Business Journal points out. "We all know that making good financial decisions today, even though they are difficult decisions, will put us in a better position to manage the organization no matter what the future holds," Hickenlooper wrote in a letter to city employees. As for what might be cut--or the possibility of layoffs---Eric Brown, the mayor's communications director, tells 7News that "everything is a possibility." Low sales-tax collections aren't the only reason Denver is suffering. Investment income is down a whopping 41 percent this year, and revenue from construction permits is off by 60 percent, writes The Denver Post. At least Westword has found a way to have a laugh at the bad news, noting that a mayor's office press release outlining the crisis was dated June, rather than July, writing, "Apparently, the administration's first cut was an entire month on the calendar."