Wednesday, January 25, 2012

City Finance 101

David Swindell, Pocatello's Chief Financial Officer, met with NKA members to explain the nature and powers of city government in Idaho. 
Mr. Swindell discussed the relationship between the government and private sectors in regard to allocation of resources, regulation of services, and the political process. He emphasized that the government sector exists "because the commercial market fails." That is, "the private sector provides goods and services as a means to the ultimate end of making $ [money]", but the government sector "provides goods and services as an end in itself." 
Common myths about state laws and the city's tax structures were debunked and/or clarified.
Class participants learned how cities operate financially. Mr. Swindell used easy-to-understand graphs (see examples below) to illustrate how levels of city services are set.
Residential Sewer Rates
Residential Water Rates
Residential Sanitation Rates
To learn more about the city's financial operation, click on this link to the city's website: http://www.pocatello.us