Cut the Nonsense
Bertrand Russell was right about one thing, “There is no nonsense so errant that it cannot be made the creed of the vast majority by adequate governmental action.”
According to the Post-Dispatch, St. Louis city residents will soon face increased water and trash bills in response to budget pressures. The purported justification for these rate increases is because, in the words of one alderman:
“There is nothing left to cut,” he told the board.
In the very same meeting that the rate increases were approved, however, $61 million in tax credits to Peabody Energy were also approved.
A great deal can be said about the problems with these tax credits, but it’s pure nonsense to assert that the city’s budget troubles require soliciting more funds from taxpayers, while simultaneously agreeing to “spend” that money on further tax abatements.
To simplify: The city budget is so strapped that cuts needed to be made across the board, including to the fire department, in conjunction with rate increases on water and trash services. The city budget is also so strapped that it can easily afford to forgo millions of dollars in tax revenue from Peabody.
If the city truly can’t find anything left to cut, perhaps it should start looking at tax credits.