Alexandria expects a $14.4 million operating budget shortfall in fiscal year 2013, unless taxes are raised or services are cut, due to slow growth in real estate revenue, acting city manager Bruce Johnson announced.

Revenues are going up by $9.6 million, or 1.7 percent, but costs are rising by $24 million, or 4.2 percent, Johnson said, leaving a $14.4 million, or 2.5 percent, gap. Last year, the city had an operating surplus of $9.8 million. This would be the city’s fifth consecutive year in which a shortfall was predicted.

The shortfall doesn’t take into consideration any requested increases from schools or transit subsidies. The city council has just begun work on the fiscal 2013 budget and work sessions will be held tonight at 7 p.m. as well as Nov. 1 and 8 in Alexandria City Hall.