City Council will be voting Tuesday night on how to spend nearly $6 billion of your money.
That’s the total amount of the city budget for 2020-21. (Not $1.3 billion, as local media reported.)
The good news is the property tax rate will not increase.
It will take about half, $2.9 billion, to run the general government. That will pay more than 7,000 employees and the pensions of former employees, plus all related expenses. The rest will be spent by the city’s independent authorities, most of which have revenue of their own — although most of it comes out of the same pockets.
The total is a whopping $5.9 billion. Combined with the cost of local schools, which is set by the School Board, taxpayers are on the hook for nearly $8 billion.
This includes capital outlay, which has been the main item of contention this year. It appears the council will be redirecting a large portion of the money from where the mayor had proposed to the old core city.
According to the St. Louis Federal Reserve, the gross domestic product of Jacksonville – how much it produces – is $83,186,521,000.
Therefore local government will consume almost 10 percent of what workers and business produce next year.
That gives a whole new meaning to the term “tithing,” doesn’t it?
We must hope the 19 council members have been diligent in determining that all those costs are necessary and proper.