Taking Past Excess Off the Table
Some elected officials, in Tiverton, are encouraging their fellows to ignore the past while constructing the next budget. My Tiverton-Little Compton.Patch column, this week, I suggest that such an approach is, well, improper:
It certainly shouldn’t be a foregone conclusion that a tax base that grew by 2% over a period of 28% inflation can afford a 78% increase in the cost of local government services. All else being equal, the community for which $17.5 million was the affordable levy in 2001-2002 should only have been asked for $22.9 million in 2009-2010 [instead of $31.1 million].
Obviously, a panoply of other considerations come into play, but it’s awfully convenient of Cotta to insist that Tiverton’s leaders should weigh the upcoming budget in isolation from the past. Moreover, it brings to the fore the error in government budgeting processes.