Balancing State and Local Budgets

06.08.10 | Dr. Stephen Coleman | Comments[1]

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Both New York and Pennsylvania are facing severe economic challenges at both the local and state levels. The fundamental question is how the Empire and Keystone States — as well as their municipalities — can come up with balanced budgets. Well, here are four techniques to help balance state and local budgets.

Technique number one: Cut spending...especially in the costly areas of education and health care. this may involve eliminating programs or reducing services to save money.

Technique number two for balancing budgets: Increase taxes — whether income and sales taxes at the state level or property and other taxes at the local level. Increased taxes will mean more income.

Technique number three for balancing budgets: Increase fees or come up with new fees at both the local and state levels in order to generate revenue. Perhaps possible higher fees for professional licenses, for recreational licenses, for auto registrations, for the use of pools and other recreational facilities, and so on.

And technique number four for balancing budgets: Saving money by redesigning how state and local governments operate by eliminating, consolidating and streamlining state agencies and merging or dissolving local governments and their services.

So ladies and gentlemen of the Empire and Keystone States, even though times are tough, there are techniques to help balance state and local budgets. Of course, at the end of the day, political leaders have to have the will and the wisdom to use these techniques and others to balance budgets.

The techniques I just mentioned have one thing in common: They are all controversial.

cc-wetm - tv- Dr. Coleman also airs commentaries and a public affairs program on WETM 18 Elmira. For more information on these programs, go to


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