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CHALMETTE, La. - St. Bernard Parish is facing a budget crunch and officials estimate a 10 percent budget cut is needed due to sliding sales tax revenues.

St. Bernard Parish has been fighting budget problems all year long. They have had layoffs, enacted belt-tightening measures and, in September, added a $32 fire protection fee to residents' monthly water bills, although this fee has been taken to court.

The fee was to prevent layoffs in the fire department, which is one of the biggest sources of expenditures in the parish.

The sales tax projection that was set up when the budget was drawn up over a year ago has proven to be false.

The collection is down millions of dollars in comparison to the projection.

On October 2, the parish council asked the parish president to draw up a budget cut plan for the last three months of 2012.

The plan will eventually go to the full council.

In the near future, the council will need to focus on planning the budget for 2013.

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