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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Tacoma: Municipal finance meets Mr. Paper

The virtual publication of the Minority Report of Tacoma's Revenue Tax Force (whose activities have been sporadically chronicled here over the past six or eight months -- see below) was delivered to the virtual in-boxes of city government this morning. The majority report is also e-available. Piles of real paper will arrive Monday.

At issue is the financial architecture of the city. Will it be strong enough or broad enough in the foundation to carry the demands for city services -- fire, police, library, streets and roads -- into the next few decades? Or not?

This is only step three in a journey of a thousand steps which had better get some momentum soon, or we're not getting there in this lifetime. Still, an inch closer is an inch closer.

It was fun. It was educational. I learned that who controls the process can control the outcome. Graduation comes Tuesday, at a city council study session.

If anybody else is working with the fiscal problems of Washington cities, it would be good to hear from you. Obviously the legislature and the Association of Washington Cities are interested, but I am not connected enough to know of any real relief in sight. All I see is more piling up on existing sales and property taxes.

Previous posts on the Tax Force: