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A number of comments indicated that we should not increase city revenue because the city is corrupt and inefficient, and thus cannot be trusted. First, I agree that the city is inefficient and corrupt, and I put the blame for the current fiscal mess squarely on the shoulders of our elected officials. That said, denying adequate revenues to the city is not the answer.
I know of no example on any level of government where reducing revenues led to government being more efficient. The only effect of reducing revenue is to reduce the quality of services even further. If we want to combat corruption and inefficiency, the way to do this is through the ballot box, either by voting elected officials out of office or using the local initiative process to force them to do what we want. In other words, you can’t “starve the beast” and expect that it will then become tame; denying the City adequate revenues will just make matters worse.
Increasing revenues would do a lot of good even with the inefficiencies in government. Let’s not overstate the case here: despite some really bad decisions on the part of elected officials, most of the money the city spends does go towards essential services that benefit the public. After all, the largest item in the city budget (by far) is public safety. Most spending is worthwhile, unless one buys Billy Bob Henry’s argument that city employees are overpaid (which I do not). Increasing revenue would lead to improvements in public services.
— BRIAN ADAMS