Greensboro, NC -- A huge budget deficit and possible layoffs are words that can make any county employee nervous about job security.
So WFMY News 2 is digging for more answers after a Guilford County Commissioner said they could be looking at staff cuts.
On Tuesday, Guilford County Commissioner Carolyn Coleman told WFMY News 2, the county is facing a $40 million budget deficit this year and that the county could be looking at major layoffs.
On Wednesday, several other Guilford County commissioners said it's premature to be talking about layoffs.
Guilford County Commissioner Jeff Phillips, Chairman of the Budget Committee, said it's way too early to make a decision on reducing staff.
The county has 2,500 staff members.
Phillips said the board will do everything it can to avoid "significant" cuts.
Phillips said the board has already asked all of the county department heads and directors to turn over all financial information, so commissioners can review their budgets.
We also spoke with Commissioner Bruce Davis, vice chair of the budget committee. Davis said each county department has already cut spending as much as possible.
"Now you're down to the bones. So, all the fat is gone. So, if we're not willing to increase the taxes, then we're going to have to cut personnel. That's the only way to get it down," said Davis.
His message was, the only real way to avoid layoffs to county employees is to raise taxes. He said a tax increase cannot be ruled out at this point.
However, Commissioner Coleman and Chairwoman Linda Shaw both said they don't have the votes to raise taxes.
Everyone agrees the board is going to have to make some tough decisions.
Commissioners will be talking more about the budget at their work session next Thursday.
The commissioners won't adopt a budget until June.
WFMY News 2