With taxing power comes even a higher need to be fiscally responsible with our citizens tax dollars. I received an accounting undergraduate degree and chose computer science instead of a career in public accounting. Having an accounting background, I have the mindset to be initially fiscally conservative. That said, I’m not shy about spending when it clearly benefits our community and citizens.
I hear lots of descriptions by the City on how much revenue can be increased by a particular new tax. I hear about how other cities tax citizens and businesses as basically a self justification that the City of Burien should be doing the same thing. I also hear how this new revenue source is being spent on expenses such as new staff, consultants, branding, logos and programs.
What am I not hearing? The benefit’s or the improvements for our residents that were achieved with the tax. I never hear any measurable improvements to the increased profitability of local businesses nor how this tax has improved the lives of our citizens. Let’s bring in some of our local businesses and citizens and have them give testimonials to the City Council that the benefits of the tax far out weigh the cost. If we can’t find any of these testimonials or measurable benefits, I start questioning the rationale and if the revenue is being spent wisely.
My thoughts are the city should not be spending tax dollars unless there’s a clear benefit to the citizen’s of Burien to spend their tax dollars. Every city budget line item should be reviewed and justified when the budget is reviewed yearly. And policies put in place to encourage city employees to save money by providing financial incentives for saving money or increasing productivity.
I will put policies in place that will make sure tax dollars spent are justified and used wisely.