There is simply no room in municipal budgets for any fat these days. Hasn't been for a while. Every new position, every new purchase, every new service must be measured against stagnant wages, high unemployment and tax burdens. But that doesn't mean those tax dollars can't go up a little bit to ensure the health and well-being of all of our citizens.
Both Mayor Soglin and County Executive Parisi drew up responsible budgets and both the Madison City Council and Dane County Board acted on them responsibly. Together, taxes will go up a little over 50 bucks on the average home. Among other items the city budget supports neighborhood centers and employment support, current bus fares and promised arts funding. The county budget invests in early childhood, family support, domestic violence prevention and youth job training.
In other words both budgets put our tax dollars where they're needed most right now with modest increases and no big, new initiatives. Many of us would like to do more. But for now we give credit to the folks who made the decisions and held the line.