Friday, January 20, 2006

Please tell us more about your fiscal discipline

The London Free Press reports that the city issued a financial report card yesterday in an effort to promote its fiscal discipline. Among the highlights:

The amount of [municipal] debt per person in London was $1,070 in 2004, the last year for which the city collected data. That was double the amount in Kingston and Hamilton, eight times the level in St. Thomas and above levels in Toronto, Windsor, Barrie, Ottawa, Guelph and Chatham-Kent.

[…] Including surcharges, the owner of an average bungalow in London paid $3,734 [in property taxes] in 2005. Owners of similar homes in eight of the other nine municipalities paid on average $392 less.

All measures will improve with continued fiscal discipline, [chief administrator Jeff] Fielding said. "We're on the right track and making progress," he said.
That's comforting to the average bungalow owner who paid $3,734 on property taxes and surchages in 2005 and who owns a $1,070 of the city's debt. And what is the city's idea of fiscal discipline? Only $30 million in new borrowing for capital projects each year. As evidence of the benefit to the taxpayer of London's "continued fiscal discipline," Fielding admitted that
[m]ost helpful last year was securing a share of the federal gas tax and getting a $13 million Ontario grant to pay for downloaded services.
Imagine if council didn't continue its fiscal discipline?
London Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco praised the report as a useful tool for residents and those attracting new business.

"It helps people understand our financial plan," she said.
Well, I can't argue with that.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

You'd think that with Cadillac tax rates we'd get Cadillac services. Alas, all we get is a banged up Chevy. By the way, has anyone driven down Wellington by White Oaks mall lately. More craters than the main drag in Bagdad.