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Finger People - Universal Language - Honduras

Thursday, April 21, 2011

LFB: You can't know what you don't know - Walker Budget or Repair - channeling Don Rumsfeld!

Clicking the title will take you to a previous blog entry!

Do you have the numbers or not?  This kind of data can easily exist in a spreadsheet (or several) ... not a big deal!  So either gross numbers at the statewide level were used ... which is really kind of worthless or the data was aggregated upwards from political divisions (towns, municipalities, counties, etc.)!  Which is it?

Based on the statements in the letter (cited below and previously) the detailed data was used (my guess)!  But ... the same letter discredits that methodology as widely variable!  So again which is it and where is it ... make it public at the detailed level?

The figures in Table 1 are estimates for the state as a whole. The tax impacts in individual municipalities would vary considerably from these figures.
You cannot know the "would vary considerably" unless you have the detail (or you are guessing).  The quote above, LFB 4/15 Web Site: SUBJECT: Property Tax Estimates Under Senate Bill 27 and Assembly Bill 40 , is from the above source and the final sentence from that five page document!  The LFB does the best analysis possible but the detail needs to be available and evaluated!

Why is this important?  It is important because "local" officials are in the best position to evaluate the estimates and tell you how good or how bad the numbers are as estimates or reality.  Second the data as presented in the aggregate suggests very manageable changes in property taxes but this issue has become so complex in sorting out "budget repair" from "budget" we need to know the difference!

These statements have been made with all due respect for the fine work I personally feel the LFB does.  I have considered and reconsidered every word and still believe the "details" need to be public!  Opinions may change and votes may change based on the "local" insight yet to be contributed.

After all the Joint Committee on Finance may move aggressively to get the budget to the floor shortly after April 26th.  Has there really been any kind of fair consideration!?
Footnote: circa 1984 the LFB began making Personal Computers available to analysts for dealing with the difficult problems of coming up with "fiscal analysis" of various legislation.  The software "de rigueur" was VisiCalc - long since gone from the scene! How do you think I know this?

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