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After balanced budget, Phoenix battling future deficit concerns

PHOENIX — The city of Phoenix is already taking measures to avoid a future deficit, just days after announcing a balanced budget for the coming year.

Current projections show the city will be back in the red in a couple of years.

“Fiscal year 2016 to 2017 and beyond have the potential for deficits in our general fund, which is how we pay for police and fire and library and parks,” spokesman Mario Paniagua said.

Paniagua said the council needs to start working on cutting expenditures and increasing revenue immediately to avoid a future budget crisis. As the city’s budget director, Paniagua has already notified the council of several ways they can start cutting costs.

“We are looking hard at our health insurance costs that’s been a big portion of our costs and so we’re going to look hard at how we can decrease those costs moving forward,” he said. “We’re looking at other areas as well, further pension reform potentially.”

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