Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Newark mayor: No toilet paper for city offices

cory_booker.gi.top.jpgNewark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker is attempting to fill the city's budget hole. By Hibah Yousuf, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- In a desperate attempt to fill a $70 million budget hole, Newark's mayor is taking a chainsaw to the town's budget -- even going so far as to cut toilet paper from the 2010 budget.

"Every single contract that does not go to the core function of our city in providing safe streets, providing fire protection, or other things to keep our city afloat will now be cut," Mayor Cory Booker said during an emergency press conference Wednesday.

The reductions include not buying toilet paper for city offices, cutting the work week to four days for non-uniformed city workers, which is equivalent to a 20% pay cut, scrapping city holiday decorations, and closing city pools. These extreme measures, most of which will take effect beginning in August, are expected to save the city between $10 million and $15 million.

The city came to this impasse after the city council deferred a vote to create a Municipal Utilities Authority, a key component of Booker's method of balancing the budget. Because Newark could issue bonds on the Authority, it would have cash inflow to cover the immediate deficit. Without that infusion, the mayor said they can't make ends meet.

While he accepts the council's decision, Booker said that the move leaves Newark without a budget and "an incredible financial issue."

"If the council chooses to rely on a tax increase to fill this budget hole, our homeowners will receive an entire year's worth of that tax increase in the fourth quarter -- people will see tax bills into the thousands," Booker warned.

He added that raising property taxes will likely result in massive foreclosure rates, which is unacceptable.

Booker said he is making the severe cutbacks "to avoid a tax shock to our city." To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,751.39 121.12 0.69%
Nasdaq 5,111.73 22.52 0.44%
S&P 500 2,108.57 15.32 0.73%
Treasuries 2.28 0.03 1.29%
Data as of 4:54pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 18.16 0.28 1.57%
Facebook Inc 96.99 1.70 1.78%
Ford Motor Co 15.21 0.53 3.61%
Pfizer Inc 35.76 0.41 1.16%
AT&T Inc 34.69 0.36 1.05%
Data as of 4:03pm ET
Sponsors

Sections

Buffalo Wild Wings CEO Sally Smith said a minimum wage of $15 an hour for fast food workers would probably mean her company and other restaurants would cut back on hiring inexperienced teens. More

A study by research institute Data & Society claims Uber uses phantom cars to attract customers. More

Walter Palmer's dental business is effectively frozen after he admitted killing Zimbabwe's protected lion Cecil. More

You can't blame it on the economy anymore. More Millennials now have jobs, but are still living at home. More