Tukwila needs incentive contracts, budgets | Letter to the Editor

The city’s biennial budget does not appear to contain any incentive provisions encouraging the various city departments to strive to come in under budgeted dollars and earn a monetary reward for the respective performing department. There is no apparent concerted effort to reduce the budget nor property/storm drain taxes but instead to continue with current policies to tax whatever Tukwila residents will bear. Our forbearance is over, and it’s time for the council to concern itself with fiduciary responsibility and meet the overtaxed issue head-on, post haste.

Accordingly, our city should incentivize contracts and budgets to reduce costs, and thereby, its overall taxation of its residents. Incentive contracting simply encourages performance by giving monetary incentives for completing a contract early and penalize underperformance by taking away monies for behind schedule and or over-budget contract completion. The same principle would apply to city departmental budgets, where departments are given monetary incentives for performance above expectations by doing the job under budget and on schedule. This type of budgeting encourages such things as cost reduction drives and creates an intradepartmental can-do spirit for great performance, whereby departmental employees share in the incentive awards. In the interest of reducing taxes for its residents, the city should implement such incentivized performance programs.

Our council is incessantly searching for new streams of revenue, i.e. National League of Cities, authorizing retail pot stores and sanctuary for illegal residents. Perhaps strategically utilizing incentives to encourage greater performance in all city endeavors would accomplish equal or better results and be more productive and law compliant.

It’s true, the city’s biennial budget for the 2017 and 2018 calendar years was recently adopted by the council. Incentive departmental budgeting isn’t likely till the next budget exercise in 2018, if at all, unless we voters act in a concerted manner to instill in council candidates our demands for lower taxes. However, in the interest of cost efficiencies, incentive contracting for city services has no such potential limitation or reason not to be implemented post haste and begs for full council implementation support. It was encouraging that one council person has shown interest in incentive budgeting and promised the full council a near term presentation on same.

— Bill Holstine

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