Each governmental body should have a general goal to not increase their property tax reliance more than the rate of inflation. However, there is the potential for new community growth percentages to be used only for projects that meet each governmental bodies determined areas of excellence and/or promote job growth and city infrastructure. Should such specific situations exist, it should be thoroughly justified prior to governing body vote.
The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce is willing to look at all areas for vertical cuts in cooperation with elected officials and to work on a year round basis to assist in identifying such areas. Working in this manner, financial review would not just be a reaction at budget time but rather a continuous developing process of looking forward even 2-3 years in budget development to enhance fiscal responsibility.
Some specific suggestions:
- Get the performance auditor in place for City government to help evaluate whether programs and policies are accomplishing their goals.
- Develop a “look-forward” financial view not just focusing on this year, but begin to work on areas now which will impact future budgets.
- Analyze other communities around the country for efficiencies that we could adopt, especially in each budget’s largest item—Personnel.
- Merit Pay
- Vertical cuts
- Program specific elimination or additions
- Private sector methods
- Expenditure cap concepts per department
- Performance incentives
- Back office efficiencies
- Departmental organization
- Transportation system scheduling
- The Lancaster County system of flat employee budgeting and a review
If legislative changes are required for any of the above, the Lincoln Chamber will work cooperatively to accomplish necessary changes.
Adopted Unanimously 7/11/05
Ratified by the Board of Directors 9/21/06