Thursday, March 25, 2010

Monkey see, monkey do

There was nothing unexpected in the provincial budget. Those most affected were the sinners and the saints. Since most of this top secret document was shared prior to budget day, the ballyhoo on the specifics is pretty much done. However, there is a general observation that is noteworthy.

The Provincial Government found itself in financial dilemma due to overstating commodity revenues, namely potash. Commodities are risky gambles. Borrowing from savings for operational needs is also a risky gamble yet the provincial government is, in essence, using money that is not generated from current revenue sources to fund the budget.

Our city, and other Saskatchewan cities, have been forewarning of large tax increases as a result of the Provincial Government being unable to increase revenue sharing to municipalities this year. The cities have known this for some considerable length of time yet continued to spend without a proviso that the spending was contingent on provincial funding.

Now, like the Provincial Government, our city is considering a budget that relies on the unforeseen, that being that provincial revenue sharing will increase next year. Given the current situation, that is a risky gamble. According to the Mayor use of land sales revenue is being contemplated stating that land sales are expected to remain strong. Again, a gamble. We should be asking the "what if" questions.

Lastly, we have six councillors who six months ago, during the civic election campaign, promised not to increase taxes if re-elected. These councillors knew, or should have known, what the what was coming down the pike. We'll wait to see if they keep their promise or simply point fingers away from themselves.

I guess we wait and see what monkey business comes our way in the civic budget.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.