Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Why did we raise taxes?

There is an old adage when it comes to government budgeting, "Use it or lose it." If your department is budgeted a certain amount of money, you don't want to have any left at the end of the year, because if you do, you are likely to have your budget cut in the next year.

I have seen cases where as the end of the year approaches, department heads are scrambling to spend on whatever they can; computers, office supplies, etc.

So, when every single department of state government finishes the year with a surplus, it makes you wonder. That is exactly what happened at the end of the '06-'07 budget year last September 30. Now that the books have been closed, we know that there was a $136 million surplus in the budget.

Now, maybe I'm too cynical. Maybe I should just assume that every department learned how to become more efficient. Well, maybe. But either way, I can't help but ask, why did we raise taxes and spending when every department had money left over from the previous year?

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