As we all enjoy this holiday season with family and friends, the financial stress of paying for it is never far from our minds. Each of us has to spend within our means, especially during these tough economic times.
I don’t believe many people in Madison County will feel their incomes grow beyond the recent savings they see at the gas pump.
Chairman Alan Dunstan’s budget passed the Democrat controlled County Board. It increased spending by $1.185 million. I’m unable to find a budget in Madison County history that increased more than this one in publicly available information from the county auditor’s website.
We should also be disappointed that this budget engages in deficit spending. Since the adopted budget spends more than the county will collect, it actually violates the principle used by government everywhere — spend only what you need, and you tax only what you must spend. This called a balanced budget.
Instead Chairman Dunstan will hide the county’s spending by using a portion of the excessive cash reserves to pay for the budget gap. It is likely this is being done for political reasons, so that he can say to taxpayers that the levy is unchanged from year to year.
Dunstan knows that many people will think falsely that an unchanged levy means spending has not increased. This is budgetary move designed to hide spending growth that would be politically unpopular in this poor economy.