Josh Dulaney, Staff Writer
Posted: 03/02/2013 07:06:09 PM PST

RIALTO – A tax measure on Tuesday’s ballot will show how much of an appetite those here have for helping the city dig out of a financial hole created by the still-sluggish economy and generous benefits given to public employees by previous city councils.

Voters will either extend the $11 million utility-users tax another five years through Measure W or let it expire on June 30.

The 8 percent tax is the largest single source of revenue at roughly 22 percent of the city’s $49.3 million budget for fiscal 2012-13.

“The reality is if we lose 22 percent of our budget, that will bring about some extremely draconian cuts,” Mayor Deborah Robertson said. “It will be bare bones.”

Officials warn that up to 20 positions could be lost in the Police Department, and the Las Colinas fire station may be closed.

The city also stands to see cuts in street sweeping, graffiti removal and park maintenance, as well as the elimination of services at the senior and community centers.

Two code enforcement officers and up to five public works positions may fall victim to budget cuts.

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