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Bandaging the budget

Bandaging the budget

Short-term fixes don't address the long run

Tulsa World
By JANET PEARSON Associate Editor
Last Modified: 6/20/2010 5:01 AM

Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett certainly deserves credit for coming up with some worthwhile revenue-raising ideas.

But so far credit is all he's gotten. City councilors never did warm up to any of his "revenue enhancement" proposals and instead last week found enough Band-Aids on their own to patch up the city budget.

But patchwork will only work for so long. Sooner or later, city leaders as well as residents will have to accept that existing city revenues just aren't ever going to catch up with needs.

The problem Bartlett faced was that while his revenue proposals had merit, there are also arguments against them, not the least of which is they can be characterized as tax increases. These days, that's all that's needed to kill off a proposal.

The city's ongoing budget crisis has led to such steps as layoffs and furloughs; cutbacks in roadway lighting, graffiti removal and right-of-way mowing; reduced acquisition of supplies and materials, and the elimination of such long-time services as the police mounted patrol and helicopters... FULL ARTICLE


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