Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lexington mayor's bold budget proposal

It seems like every week we hear of new states, counties, and cities suffering from financial woes. Lexington, Kentucky has not been immune to these budget struggles.

In an attempt to remedy these problems, newly installed Lexington mayor Jim Gray unveiled an ambitious budget plan that eliminates 28 jobs, closes two pools and a golf course, and hits the pause button on his salary for six months. In total, there are $27 million in spending cuts. The reasoning behind this? Revenue is flat and spending must be curbed. Gray calls this a "businessman's budget".

Tough decisions made in tough times.

The ball is now in the court of the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council to review and debate the budget plan.


Hempy said...

Being the feudalists that you are, I realize you are no fan of Adam Smith the father of capitalism. However, his suggestion for revenue was not to cut existing budgets, but to find additional sources.

Local governments have such sources available. One would be to tax all non-sanctuary religious property. That would include parking lots around places of worship.

Property that is donated to religious organizations, such as houses, come off the tax rolls and are usually rented out for income. Those properties still receive the same local government services as they did before when they were on the tax rolls. That property should remain on the tax rolls and the receiving religious organization should have to pay those property taxes. Religious-affiliated business should also pay property taxes.

End bounties. Adam Smith didn’t like them. He said companies are more interested in finding bounties than they are in producing goods and services. Local governments call these anti-capitalistic bounties “economic incentives.”

Recipient businesses seldom produce the promised jobs or revenue. They’re always on the lookout for a bigger bounty. They’ll stay a few years, and as soon as another bounty becomes available, they’ll pick up, and move to another location. Often they’ll abandon their buildings leaving it up to local government to do something with.

Anonymous said...

Hempy, would you rather the federal government be the 'lords of the manor'?

Hempy said...

The federal system is not a feudal system although Republicans, conservatives, Libertarians and teabaggers are trying to make it one.

Our system is set up to be a representative government with built in checks and balances. That means government regulations and oversight so that Wall Streeters and banks laundering drug money can't get by with what they did to bring us into a near depression.