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StarBulletin.com

Readers share budget ideas


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POSTED: Thursday, March 05, 2009

The following comments about how to tackle the city budget deficit were sent to the Star-Bulletin by readers:

» Those programs and workers that were added in the last five years, whatever they are, were not needed five years ago. It includes a lot of pork that was added when the city was financially irrational. Now with less coming in, less should go out. Using this simple rule and it should be straightforward what should go.

» Civil service employees (whether at the federal, state or county level) get a raise every year even if it's just a cost-of-living increase. Nongovernment workers are losing their jobs, foreclosing on their homes. Given the difficult times, it's only fair that civil-service pay and benefits be reduced to help pay down the deficit. Also, if the city administration is looking at all options, reducing the size of government should also be on the table.

Let's also not forget reforming the (corrupt) nonbid contract process for goods and services. How about applying the 0.5% tax to offset the deficit? There needs to be more thinking outside the box.

» The mayor should tax the bars super-high since they make so much on illegal prostitution, drugs, etc. Also (the police) should confiscate more properties like cars, homes, etc., from criminals, then at least that will pay for their prison time. There is so much profit in crime, they should be hit where it hurts; take all their money and property away. That's the solution to crime. If it is not profitable, then it will end.

» There is approximately $1 billion in the budget for rail construction. Why are operating funds being diverted to building the rail when that project has its own funding mechanism for construction? No fees for rubbish collection. That's why we pay property taxes.