Remember when we broke the news a couple of months ago that Portland was sitting on a surplus worth as much as $11 million? And that next year's budget might be even better? And how it felt like a bit of whiplash after the city, months before, had just closed a spending gap of $21 million?
New information released yesterday by the City Budget Office (large PDFs here and here) make clear that even those rosy assumptions were too dim. The real surplus, left over from last year's budget, is now $14.1 million. Better yet, revenues in the current budget, which took effect in July, are already exceeding expenses by millions of dollars.
Here are some relevant slides!
What's next? The city council is holding a budget adjustment hearing next Wednesday. But Mayor Charlie Hales has already down his marker, for this year and next: Despite all the new money, he's urging commissioners and bureaus to keep their hands off the merchandise and put forth, instead, "stabilization" budgets designed to test and see if the newfound gains really might last for a while.