Columbus officials are projecting that budget shortfalls will snowball beginning in fiscal 1993 unless the city finds new revenue sources.
Mayor Dana Rinehart's proposed $298.4 million budget for fiscal 1993, which begins Jan. 1, is balanced, but the city cannot maintain current services in the future with existing revenues, according to Wyatt Kingseed, assistant director of the city's office of management and budget.
Mr. Kingseed said his office estimates the shortfall for fiscal 1993 will be $25 million. The shortfalls will continue to grow, rising to $43 million in fiscal 1994, $69 million in fiscal 1995, and $131 million in fiscal 1996.
"We need to find new revenues or we will have to cut services in the future," Mr. Kingseed said.
He added the most likely source of new revenue to be considered would be a garbage collection fee. Residents currently are not charged for that service.
Columbus's largest source of revenue is a 2% city income tax that is expected to raise $191 million in fiscal 1992. Mr. Kingseed explained that an increase in that tax would require voter approval.
The city has about $900 million of outstanding general obligation debt rated Aal by Moody's Investors Service and AA-plus by Standard & Poor's Corp.