Yakima shows signs it's recovering from the recession

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Yakima has really had to tighten the purse strings on the city's budget since the recession hit five years ago.

Yet take a drive around town, and you'll notice Yakima making needed improvements all around you. This is in large part thanks to the extra money in our city's budget, signs our city is recovering from the recession.

Mayor Cawley explained that this year we've seen an eight percent growth in sales tax, which is brining in more revenue than was expected.

"People spending money, this is a direct result of people going out and buying things and buying goods and us seeing the numbers continually go up," said Mayor Cawley.

KIMA pulled the numbers and found that when the recession first hit in 2008 our general fund was at nearly $48 million, 5 years later we've built ourselves back up with a general fund of more than $52 million.

Another way we've managed to come out of the recession is by using our money conservatively.

"Holding the line, while revenue is growing is what's important, and I hope that employees and citizens understand that. That we don't live in a time where we can just dole out the money," said Mayor Cawley.

Since the recession hit in 2008 the city has cut down on full time employees.

This year there's a net total of 36 fewer than five years ago.

Looking back ten years we can see that the city's total budget has improved with growth. In 2003 we were at $169.3 million, in 2008 we were at $181.4 million, and this year we're at $205.7 million.

City officials hope this continued growth will allow for a balanced budget without having to raise taxes or draw from the reserve.

"Hopefully the revenue continues to outpace the expenditures and we have some money that we can reinvest back into the community, that's the hope for the future," said Mayor Cawley.

Yakima's growth has allowed the city manager to establish our five year plan. This focuses on reducing crime, fixing our roads, and economic development.