Inflation impacts the purchasing power of the dollar, and changes in population affect revenues and demands for services. The following graphs and tables present budget data for general and special fund activity over a thirty-six year period.
Inflation increased 434 percent from fiscal year 70-71* to fiscal year 07-08, and population increased over 100 percent during the same time period as shown in the table below.
Expressing expenses, revenues and taxes in constant dollars adjusts for the impact of inflation. When the constant dollar formula is applied to the subsequent years’ dollars using the Consumer Price Index (CPI)**, the result is the effective comparison of revenues, expenditures and taxes. To compare the cost per person, the constant dollar is divided by the population for that year.
After applying the CPI index formula and population growth to the 70-71, 80-81, 90-91, 00-01 and 07-08 fiscal years, the result shows that expenditures and revenues have gradually increased from FY 80-81 to FY 07-08 and remain close to FY 70-71. Tax revenue has remained below the FY 70-71 in all subsequent years, primarily due to the shift of property tax revenue to schools.
The following table represents actual dollars budgeted for the same time period.
Note: Total budgeted revenues include total taxes. The table represents the budgeted expenditure, revenue and taxes at the time. The type and scope of services have changed during the period as well as the amounts and sources of revenue. However, responsibility for many new mandated programs have been added, and some services funded previously through general purpose revenues are now entirely supported by fee revenue (enterprise funds).
* 70-71 is used as the base year for comparison. Each subsequent year is compared to the base year.
** Source: CPI statistics from U. S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.