Inland Empire Area Subregional Groups' Findings
December 11, 1997
- Services are related to where we live; Local Revenues are related to where we shop.
- Public transit distribution is based upon population.
- Pre-Proposition 13, residents were allowed to tax themselves (through representative local government) to become bedroom communities.
- Government closest to "the people" seems to have the least control.
- "Suburban flight" creates significant costs to urban centers.
- "Suburban flight" also creates huge up front infrastructure costs and ongoing transportation challenges and costs.
- Should certain jurisdictions even exist?
- What can be divested from the general fund and paid for from franchise and user fees?
- What can be privatized?
- How do you enable residents to decide and fund the community they want?
- Should the initiative process be reformed?
- Do voters understand the consequences of certain initiatives?
- Is it desirable to return to pre-proposition 13 revenue structure?
- What is the role of property tax?
- Is it possible for local governments to form a united front?
- What other states have good models of local government finance? (Missouri?)
- Is equitable financing among similar institutions desirable or should equity be base upon the type of community residents want?
- Is there a constitutional basis for equitable fire, police, transit, etc.?
- Is it possible to educate the public about the intricacies of government?
- Do the dynamics of government change too quickly to educate the public about government?
- How do you tie in public education to the things people care about?
- Does the public care as much about local services, (and how they are delivered) as they do about national issues?
- How do you build a constituency for "good government?"
- Can (should) the business community get involved in the issue of local government finance? Why?
- Is there regional leadership at the corporate and political level?
- Why should Sacramento care?
- Does the public care about cities?
- Is the present level of service too high in cities?
- Has local government been too creative in meeting their budget shortfalls?
- Mandates upon local governments must be addressed.
- Don't create situations where cities compete with cities, counties v. counties etc. for both revenue and policy decisions at the state level.
- Local money should stay local.
- Identify the responsibilities of government at all levels.
- Identify the revenues of government.
- Identify those services that are general fund services, and those which should be paid for by user fees.
- Stop the migration of local revenues.
- If initiatives continue to be the manner in which public policy is set, then local government should become proactive in this arena to promote local revenues and service enhancements.
- Create a local link between sales taxes and services.
- Create a two column ledger on recommendations: a) what would be the best strategy to pursue given the current structure of local government finance; b) what would create a "perfect world?"
- The system of local government finance must be accountable to preserve public trust.
- Equitable revenue sources are needed.
- The system of local government finance should not distort behavior.
- Revenue sources should be elastic.
- Create an incentive to develop infrastructure, (e.g. 50/50 match, infrastructure bank, etc.)
- Privatize services where possible.
- Local governments should use two tracks in budgeting.
- Reform worker's compensation and disability retirement.
- Prioritize local services.
- Judge who is best able to provide local services.
- Match up revenue based upon points 19 and 20 (above).
- From the perspective of public education, define what government is from a practical standpoint.
- In order to promote better decision making by the electorate, efforts must be made to educate the public about how government presently operates.
- Develop a realistic time frame for reform: a) Phase in reform: give jurisdictions a choice to reform now or later; b) Deal in some other way with the situation of winners and losers of any reform.
- Promote a statewide initiative to delete the sunset provision of local "self-help" initiatives.
- Create service benchmarks.