A New Definition of a Budget Cut

December 31, 2011 at 2:02 pm Leave a comment


So if you “cut” your grocery bill, you would spend less right? But government seems to have a different view of what a spending cut is as evidenced by a recent letter to the editor;

Over the past few years, I’ve been following the budget of my home city of Crystal, and all I ever hear is how much the mayor and the city council are cutting the budget. I have heard on several occasions, most recently at the Nov. 10 work session that I attended, that $3-4 million has been cut in the past 6-8 years. The number is different every time I hear it. So, I pulled up the city budget on their website and according to the city’s own numbers, the city spent $10,885,459 in 2007. So if we have cut $3-4 million, then that number should be lower, right?

Well, not exactly. The projected budget for 2012 is $12,340,040. That’s nearly a $1,500,000 increase over five years or 13.4 percent. How is that a $3 million or $4 million cut? I went and asked this question to the council at the truth-in-taxation hearing on Dec. 6. Mayor Bowman passed the buck to the finance director who explained that the reference to “cutting $3-4 million was due to the state of Minnesota promising local government aid and not delivering it.”

Now, that may be true, but think of how the city defines a cut. A “cut” is not spending less. A cut is not getting all the state money that they think they are entitled to (and last time I checked, I pay the state as well). Only in government can a spending increase be considered a cut.

Andrew Richter, Crystal

So a $1,500,000 increase is a cut?? Truthfully, Crystal isn’t alone. All we ever hear about is how local government is cutting and cutting and cutting and eliminating everything “non-essential.” Yet every year they continue to spend more and more! Remember government comes first!

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Entry filed under: Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Crystal, Golden Valley, Hennepin, Osseo, Plymouth, Robbinsdale, Taxation.

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