City-county merger in Murfreesboro

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Like tax reform, city/county mergers are popular to talk about, but difficult to pull off. The talk is especially popular in the Midwest. Read more.

In places like Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Buffalo interest is driven by a public cost structure that is out of line with the underlying economy: too many governmental units sucking up too much overhead.

Think of it this way. We need a certain amount of "social overhead" to run our communities. That's what our tax dollars provide. But when the social overhead gets out of line with the economy's underlying ability to generate wealth, relative tax rates rise.

Business leadership tends to focus narrowly on tax rates, rather than thinking more comprehensively about the cost structures that drive these rates.

Here's what's happening with the effort to combine Rutherford County and the city of Murfreesboro in Tennessee. Read more.

posted by Ed Morrison |

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