PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The City of Philadelphia’s finances are so bleak these days that when a very slight budget surplus appears, officials call a news conference to crow about it.

Such was the case today, when city finance director Rob Dubow gathered reporters to announce that for the first time since the recession hit in 2008, the city ended up with a surplus when it closed the books on the fiscal year that ended June 30th.

dubow rob side Philadelphia Reports Budget Surplus, Albeit Miniscule, For Fiscal Year 2011

(City finance director Rob Dubow, in file photo. Source: CBS3)

“A positive fund balance of just about a hundred thousand dollars,” Dubow (right) noted.

That’s right: a $100,000 surplus out of a nearly four-billion-dollar budget.

Still, Dubow notes, black ink is better than red ink.

“It’s a big improvement over the last two years when we had negative fund balances of over a hundred million dollars,” he tells KYW Newsradio.

The slightly good news won’t last.  Tax revenues in the current fiscal year are down (see related stories), and Dubow says that within a few weeks departments will again be asked to cut spending.

Reported by KYW City Hall bureau chief Mike Dunn

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