We call the chart below Midland 101. It tracks four significant numbers over the period from 2000 to date. The red line is the 116% increase in Midland’s own tax charges over this time.
Midland uses that money to provide services like road maintenance to households and services like parks and recreation to people. Households increased by 13% but population actually declined by 1%. So you would expect Midland’s costs to increase by something less than 13% owing to this growth.
The other factor is inflation represented by the green line (Consumer Price Index) that increased 30% over the same time. Taking all of this into account, you would expect Midland’s charges to its taxpayers to have increased less than 45% since 2000. That would still have allowed Midland to hire more staff on account of growth and to pay all staff a wage increase each year equal to the increase in the CPI. So why 116%?
Midland 101 makes it obvious taxes were on a disastrous trajectory until 2010 increasing far above the rate of inflation. Since 2010 the situation has improved somewhat with recent tax increases now closer to inflation.
2014 is an election year when Midlanders get to decide whether they want to return to runaway spending by their elected councillors or whether Midland needs to be a better place than that.