Fuzzy Math

Those who know me well will tell you: I am not a numbers girl.

Sure, I can add, subtract, multiply and divide. I can figure the cost of a dress on the 25% off rack.  But Budgets?  Taxes?  Amortization?  Debt Service?  Even those words make my eyes glaze over.  I’m one of those people who have to work extra hard to wrap my head around those numbers.

And so I’ve worked diligently to do that these last few months, covering the debacle that is the Miami-Dade County budget.

Seems to me it should be a pretty simple equation: income (taxes, fees, interest, investments) has to cover outflow (services, salaries & benefits, debt).

Only here’s the problem, if you believe the calculations. The county is $444 million dollars too short to cover the budget that begins October 1st, some three weeks away. No question, some amount of mismanagement and bad judgment got it there. But the immediate issue is – it’s here, and in less than two weeks, 13 county commissioners are going to sign off on a plan to somehow make the equation work. Eight of those commissioners voted against even thinking about raising one penny of anyone’s property tax.

So something is going to go. But what? and who?

More than a few county insiders tell me they believe majority of the commission is in fantasy land.  Those commissioners are quite convinced that all they have to say is, “we will not lay off one employee and we will not cut any services”, and some staffer in some office somewhere will magically find the money to pay for it and make them right.

And so some commissioners say that.  We have it on tape.

What will happen at the budget hearing and vote September 17th is anyone’s guess.  The sure bet is – it’s going to be a long night.  And there is going to be a morning after. 

But the fallout may be hard to handle.

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One Response

  1. how fast we forget and fail to ‘shine a light’ on the greed, waste, selfishness, avarice, behind closed doors dealing all to the serious danger and damage to taxpayers; feathering of their own nests by a mayor and a majority of the commission; greasing of palms with cash $$$$$ on daily basis, failure to monitor efficiency and productivity; aides and staffs to commissioners exceeding in wasteful numbers with little or no tasks to do; doling out big ticket dollars to close-knit staffers who do precious little for what they are already making—–need we continue?????? therein, lies the real issue.

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