(July 13, 2022)
In a recent social media post, Pocatello For Accountable Government Entities updated the community on the FY 2023 budget process:
While the City elected leadership in Pocatello may never outright (and publicly) admit any real concern with the sustainability of the budget, they did take a step to reduce the hit to taxpayers by reducing the originally proposed 7% increase to a 4% increase for the draft FY23 budget . . . sort of.
The reason it’s “sort of” is because they currently still plan to spend that 3% in capital expenditures/projects, but they opted to take it from various City Reserve Funds rather than from taxpayers . . . no promises next year! In fact, the reserve spending “end result” totaled A LOT MORE THAN 3% as shown in the attached graphic. (More than 3.6x)
Please note that these City Reserves (like your personal savings) are very difficult to replenish, especially as we face inflation and a possible recession.
If more citizens voice their displeasure with this budget at Council meetings, perhaps the Mayor and Council “may” make more serious efforts to reduce spending, but that has not happened to any meaningful degree in prior years. Bottom line, we the citizens of Pocatello don’t “win” in the long run with this shell game of swapping reserve spending for higher levied tax ask. Ultimately, with no long-term plan in place, spending that consistently exceeds revenue will eventually lead the City to a fiscal cliff (think deep vertical drop-off).
We anticipate the Council will approve the budget for publishing at the City Council Work Session scheduled for Thursday, 07/14/22 at 9:00 a.m. Please plan to attend. If you cannot attend, please email the City Council to share your concerns with their spending.