"Right now, St. Louis County is in a crisis," Dooley said Monday in a meeting with members of the Post-Dispatch editorial department and with a reporter. "Let me make this clear: If we don't get this tax increase, citizens will see cuts in service and we will have to lay off employees."
Dooley said Friday that county tax revenue was on course to fall by $10 million this year.
On Monday, he halved that estimate, saying the county stood to lose $5 million this year.
Dooley's spokesman, Mac Scott, later confirmed that the lower estimate was correct, and that Dooley misspoke when he cited the higher figure last week.
County Council Chairman Steve Stenger said that the lower estimate "has only solidified my position that the county needs to do what everyone else is doing in this economy, and that's tighten its belt."
Stenger, a Democrat like Dooley, said the county had enough money in reserves to cover pay raises for county employees that the county executive supports. He also said that the council could cut appropriations in the coming year to free up additional revenue.
On Friday, Dooley cited a report he had given to the County Council that called for a pay raise of 2.5 percent in 2012 for the county's 3,700 employees, who have not had a pay raise in more than three years. Such a raise would require $5 million in extra revenue, he said.
Read more of this story in the Post Dispatch at: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/article_60210fd6-7d70-5e27-9beb-245dcebfbced.html