Council’s early work on dissecting the fiscal budget should be commended.
Not only has the current version of council held the line on municipal property taxes assessed by the city for the last six years, it has now begun the process of crafting a more thorough budget than ever before.
Pulling apart department budgets likely won’t mean outright fiscal belt tightening, or the slashing of services, but instead it will reveal a prioritization of the way council spends taxpayer money, and possibly recognize where big dollars are going toward lower priority items.
It’s a bold move, since the inner workings of the city will be laid bare in public meetings, and an expected debate should ensue on what a municipal government should be funding, and to what tune.
The process of budget building now, which normally begins in late winter, will help council reallocate the dollars it does receive in taxation. It may not necessarily lower taxes in the city, but it could again keep them at zero, or below zero.
And being below or at zero in a community that lives for sub zero temperatures is a good thing.