The City of Omaha's 2013 budget deficit has been reduced from $13 million to $5.2 million, Mayor Jean Stothert said Thursday.

The mayor said in a statement that the city saw a drop in revenues in the second quarter of the year, including lower-than-expected sales tax and restaurant tax returns.

But she said the city is making more money from an increase in building licenses and permits. A hiring freeze that went into effect in April and fewer employee health insurance claims also helped save money, Stothert said.

Every city department, with the exception of the Fire Department, is now running under budget, the mayor said. That department is expected to be $6.5 million over budget this year.

“We are seeing signs of economy recovery,” Stothert said. “The number of building permits issued in the first seven months of the year is an example of positive economic growth. I am cautiously optimistic about city finances, with continued careful management.”

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