Local politicians frequently like to remind Londoners of their achievements in expanding the city's assessment base. On the face of it, this would appear to be a credit to sound financial management, but consider that those revenues from assessment growth have actually mitigated property tax rate increases of 5.9, 6.63 and 2.95 per cent from 2004 to 2006 respectively, well above the rate of inflation. For example, the city's budgeted property tax revenue for 2006 is actually five per cent higher than in 2005, of which 2.08 per cent is the result of assessment growth and 2.95 per cent comes from the rate increase. In other words, municipal spending has increased at higher rates than the property tax rate hikes would themselves suggest. Residents might be surprised, then, to credit the municipal government with sound financial management when they consider that, without assessment growth, property tax rates would have risen further still.
The political solution to woes that the city already anticipates without telling you is found in municipal demands for greater and more diverse taxation powers and for redistributions of cash between various levels of government for the purpose of evening out the flow of blame. Looks good to one candidate or another at any given election time, but it's still an outflow of tax dollars from London residents in one form or another or redirected through different jurisdictions. The only demonstrable solution for the taxpayer is for the city to cut spending immediately.
Monday, June 26, 2006
Posted by MapMaster on Monday, June 26, 2006