This shouldn’t come as much of a shock, but according to a study commissioned by the city, Baltimore is on track to accumulate $2 billion in budget shortfalls over the next 10 years — which is about the size of the city’s annual operating budget. The consulting firm that prepared the study noted Baltimore’s history of applying one-time fixes to its budget crises, and is urging the city to start thinking long-term.
The mayor’s office says it’s ready to take on the challenge of averting the bankruptcy and the kind of state takeover that has befallen Miami, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. “When you have budget after budget and you know that there are systemic problems, I felt an obligation to do more than what we have done in the past,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake told the Associated Press.
Whatever the specifics of the budget fix, city officials have said it will include some tinkering with the health benefits of city retirees.