If you’ve reading the news or listening to candidates lately, you’ve heard lots of talk about the budget and city finances. Some argue that the process needs to be more transparent or that it’s too difficult to understand. The City has a $100 million budget and it’s presented as a report that’s about the size of a phone book. Although I’ve had classes in bookkeeping and financial management, most people will find it pretty easy to navigate and understand, especially at the high “30,000 foot” level. With $100 million in both operating funds and capital projects to manage, councilmembers cannot and should not be counting office supplies or monitoring the phone records. They need to have the big picture in mind to steer the ship–and we’re headed straight for an iceberg (while the Council is rearranging the proverbial deck chairs).
Indeed, to show you how easy it is to understand Rockville’s fragile finances, take a close look at Continue reading →
When people about taxes and city services, you often hear:
- Our taxes are too high. Why can’t the Mayor and Council lower the tax rate?
- We pay a lot in taxes. We deserve to have trash picked up twice a week. Why haven’t they fixed my sidewalk?
- Our taxes are fine, but why does the money always get spent on the west side of town?
and so on. I’ve never heard anyone say their taxes are too low.
Taxes are certainly one of those topics that will bring nearly any citizen to a frenzy so I try to avoid it whenever possible except to say that Continue reading →