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Fresh Ideas to Save Local Tax Dollars

by Lee Schalk / /

Washington, D.C. isn’t the only place where our hard-earned dollars are wasted. With the increasing number of towns and cities turning to bankruptcy and many more struggling to stay afloat, it’s important that taxpayers work to get local debt and spending under control.

Four years ago, Nonpartisan Action for a Better Redding (NABR)—a local taxpayer group in Redding, Connecticut—set out to reduce the town budget.  The group began by conducting an audit of local expenditures and making recommendations to local leaders on how and where to save local tax dollars. According to Lewis Andrews, who heads NABR:

The target was achieved, at least on paper, by suggesting the adoption of such policies as having high school students take one of their five classes every semester online, pooling services with neighboring towns, using qualified volunteers to audit employment and benefits records, and hiring low-cost graduate students from local colleges as teacher aides – all implemented through the unforced attrition of current personnel.

While local politicians and interest groups in Redding were hesitant to act on the recommendations, the silver lining was that NABR uncovered little-known, cost-saving measures that had been implemented in localities across the U.S. Today, these practices can be found at SmartTowns.org, which was recently praised by NTU President Duane Parde:

Activists looking to rein in local government waste and spending should look no further than SmartTowns for creative solutions to keep local budgets out of the red. The best part? These aren’t simply ideas—they’re tried-and-true policies that have already helped save tax dollars throughout the country.

Has your town found unique ways to save local tax dollars? Do you have creative ideas of your own? Email the SmartTowns team by clicking HERE.