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Madison budget deficit highlights hotel questions

By Paul Snyder

Madison leaders may cast a more critical eye on hotel proposals that come before the city next year.

The downturn in the economy and lower-than-expected revenues will send the city’s budget into deficit at the year’s end, and more than $3 million will have to come out of the city’s reserve money to bring it back into balance.

City Comptroller Dean Brasser said the reserve budget will still be healthy, with more than $26 million set aside, but pointed to many areas where city revenue fell short of projections, including room tax money.

The city was expected to take in roughly $9.1 million from the room tax this year, but is projected to muster only $7.5 million, meaning the hotel space the city currently has is not filling up.

Although the city supports a major renovation of the Edgewater Hotel, several other hotel proposals in or near the downtown area could come before the city next year.

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