The tightening of spending by consumers, which reduces sales tax dollars to towns, counties and the state, should give all forms of government a chance to re-examine what it spends where and on what.
Government spending has been on a whirlwind ride for a decade. The economy has prospered, unemployment has been low and is still historically low, only 4.9 percent in Payson and 6.1 percent statewide. Elected officials and their staffs have found many new ways to spend taxpayer-generated money — some good, some not so good.
Now that consumers have stopped spending and tax dollars are drying up, government needs to take a look at its free-spending ways and decide what the real needs are today.
Should the town fix the road, or open the swimming pool next year? Should the town buy that truck or keep the recreation programs up and running? These questions and many others need answering as tax dollars drop each month and will for the near future until consumers regain confidence in the economy, which has been destroyed by Congressional actions and greed by some large businesses.
The Payson Town Council will struggle with budget decisions next week during a work session, which will review the town’s projected income and expenses. Tough decisions will be necessary, and it may not be pretty. We wish our town leaders the wisdom to make the right decisions.