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Friday, January 27, 2012 - 8:00am

Town Discovers Budget Crisis

The city council in Port Wentworth slashed its budget this week as it copes with a massive money shortfall, partly due to a tax error involving an IKEA furniture distribution center.

The Savannah Morning News reports ( the city's revised budget anticipates collecting $700,000 in property taxes, a little more than half of the $1.3 million the city had expected to receive.

City officials already laid off a half-dozen employees and taken other steps to deal with the shortfall.

City Administrator Phillip Claxton says the biggest chunk of the shortfall is more than $400,000 in taxes the city was forced to repay because of an error by the Chatham County Tax Assessor's Office. The error mistakenly put the Swedish furniture company's distribution center in Port Wentworth instead of unincorporated Chatham County.

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