To the Editor,
Any first-year business student knows the true way to balance a budget. If your expenses are more than your income you have two choices. First you must lower your expenses or second you must increase your income. That is the true way to balance a budget.
This stands true in a household budget, a business budget and should also be used in a Government Budget (City, County, State and Federal) If you take from your savings account (Fund balance) to make up the difference between your costs and your income, you are not balancing a budget you are supplementing your budget. This practice is not encouraged and is basically frowned upon by a true business accountant.
The reason is not only are you misleading yourself, your business partners, your stockholders and in Government your taxpayers. Your savings account (fund balance) will run dry. In the city if it is too low and you have an emergency you must bond to address the issue which increases the debt to the taxpayers. You pay and keep paying. Right now, the city bond repayment is almost $2 million dollars a year.
Savings accounts are for emergencies as are fund balances. They are not for supplementing your budgets.
Well at the Federal Government level they just raise the debt ceiling, at the State level they stop funding mandates, at the county level they raise the assessed value, at the city level they supplement their budget by using the fund balances or wishful thinking that their income will increase thru reassessing your property values.
At the December 14th CC meeting the City of Fulton Common Council passed unanimously (2nd ward, 3rd ward, 4th ward, 5th ward,) four budgets. The general city budget which was balanced thru tax collections and increase revenue from different departments, (North Bay, sale of city owned property, etc.), They also passed three other budgets, Water, Sewer, and Garbage.
These three operated in the Red this year (per the budget info) they again are projected to operate in the Red next year. The city Administration’s answer is to take from the fund balances of these Departments. Thus, presenting a misleading (False) Budget.
Frank Castiglia Jr.
Taxpayer in the city of Fulton