By Irene S. Rubin
Delivering case stories of monetary administration in different American towns over a interval of huge progress and alter, Irene Rubin explores the historic context of municipal budgeting within the usa and the political atmosphere that stipulations reform and challenge fixing on the neighborhood point.
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Extra info for Class, Tax, and Power: Municipal Budgeting in the United States (Public Administration and Public Policy)
Having failed to secure temporary tax relief at the hands of the 1933 legislature, the farmers and city real estate boards took the bit in their teeth, initiated a constitutional amendment cutting the tax limit from fifteen to ten mills, and all the king's horses and all the king's men could not prevent its passage under existing economic conditions. The amendment went over by an immense majority, carrying every county" (Atkinson 1936, 72). Thus a 1 percent limit was written into the constitution.
For example, practitioners often wonder why state laws specify that the city hold budget hearings, when few citizens come and city decision making does not depend on anything that is said during the hearings. The current practice needs to be put in the context of the battle between the Progressives and the Taft conservatives in the early part of this century. The Progressives felt that citizens had a right to be heard on the budget, that every step of budget making should allow for citizen input.
The strike was initially successful. In 1931 only 55 percent of total tax levies were collected prior to 15 May, the penalty date. The depression deepened. By 1932 unemployment was higher than 40 percent. People just could not afford to pay their mortgages and taxes. The city's revenues continued to slide, and its dependence on the banks for loans gave bankers a disproportionate voice in city financial dealings. The bankers insisted on more service cuts. 4 percent between 1930 and 1933. These reductions in spending did not result in much tax relief because increased debt service canceled out the effect of service cuts.