CRP Blog

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Paper: Local Government Should Bring Down Spending Now

Local governments can act now to blunt the impact which declinig property tax revenues will have in a few years. In an excellent editorial today, the San Diego Union-Tribune hits the nail on the head, and offers some solid suggestions.

Local Government Nightmare
San Diego Union-Tribune, November 30

...local governments need to act now to minimize future red ink and disruptions in service. A good starting point for any agency is imposing a freeze on all hiring and on pay and benefit increases. Job cuts should be considered, too. Why does it always seem as if the ratio of administrators to rank-and-file employees is higher in the public sector than the private sector?

Beyond such steps, there also needs to be a willingness to make hard decisions about priorities and essential responsibilities. For example, why do so many obscure districts have public relations staffs? Or travel budgets? The sooner local governments limit spending, the more positive will be the long-term ripple effects. This is why they must not wait until fiscal 2009 begins on July 1 to start dealing with their coming plunge in revenue.

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