Thursday, July 23, 2009

Jacksonville's budget crisis

Across the United States, federal, state, and local governments are struggling to generate sufficient revenues to fund the services citizens expect. Jacksonville, Florida is struggling to pay for city services after state initiatives to reduce property taxes have lowered revenues.

The Jacksonville Community Council, Inc. (JCCI) published a study, "Our Money, Our City: Financing Jacksonville's Future" that reports:
the City of Jacksonville is facing significant financial issues which threaten its future financial sustainability. Managing these problems is particularly difficult because Jacksonville lacks a shared community vision of what the proper role of government should be… Jacksonville has not defined the core services citizens expect our local government to provide.

Solutions include building community confidence in local government by increasing transparency and creating benchmarking and measurement systems to assess our effectiveness. You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Increased public involvement in the process is important as the city faces the hard choice to increase revenues and/or cut services. These decisions must be made in an environment in which Jacksonville already spends less than the state average on nearly all services…and Florida ranks near the bottom nationally on its funding of services.

Click here for the full Spring 2009 pdf report.

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