Lehigh county was spending 21% more than tax revenue according to County Commissioner Scott Ott. This led to the "invevitable" 16% property tax hike that had to be enacted. See, there is never any other choice except to reluctantly raise taxes. The alternative? The collapse of Western civilization if a tax hike is not approved because absolutely nothing can be cut in any government budget.
It seems that the new 7-2 majority of the Commissioner Board will start scrutinizing every expenditure request rather than rubber-stamping every request, something most governing bodies routinely do.
Here is what happens. A budget is approved by the county government. However, each expenditure over $10,000 is approved during the course of the year before it can actually be spent.
Last year, with a one vote majority the board approved County Excecutive Cunningham's 16% property tax hike, which was an attempt to help close the gap between spending and revenue. Sadly, a majority of the commissioners in a 5-4 vote agreed with the tired old premise that government has a "revenue problem" not a spending problem.
As the following chart shows, the real problem for ALL government entities, from school boards to municipalities, to counties and the state and the federal government, is that spending grows at rates that are unsustainable.
Here is County Commissioner Scott Ott's view on what needs to be done on the Bobby Gunther Walsh show:
Governing bodies routinely approve every spending request, as if they are helpless victims and have no choice. Taxpayers should hope that the Lehigh County "Reform Team" will set new expectations and standards for the benefit of all taxpayers. Time will tell...