Tennessee State Comptroller Justin Wilson sent a letter to Memphis City Council Chairman Edmund Ford Jr. Wednesday urging the Council to address the City's financial situation.
"The Council should decide the City's priorities. If the Council does not do this, someone else may end up doing this. This budget may well be Memphis's last clear chance to determine its own future," Wilson wrote Chairman Ford Jr. requested the letter after a phone conversation with the Comptroller.
The Comptroller sent a letter to the Mayor last month warning him the city needs to balance its budget and get its debt under control.
The Council will meet to discuss the budget next Tuesday. A range of options are on the table from employee layoffs to a property tax hike.
"We know there's going to be a tax increase. But the question becomes how much?" Councilman Harold Collins said.
Collins is concerned about what the tax burden will mean for Memphis residents.
"We cannot continue to put that on the backs of our city taxpayers," Collins added.
A subcommittee of the Council's Budget Committee met with the administration and members of the city's employee unions Wednesday afternoon.
"Layoffs are still a very real possibility. Increases in the property tax are another alternative," Chief Administrative Officer George Little said.
The council will meet to consider the budget on Tuesday June 18th.