This essay is a budget simulation project on opportunity costs. it invovles alternatives to raising taxes or increasing city spending,

Essay by magaskaweeHigh School, 12th gradeA, March 2004

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I was asked to join this committee to help the Mayor solve a problem. The city's budget director has forecast that city tax revenues will be $300,000 less than expected this year, the second year of the city's two-year budget period. Instead of increasing taxes or increase city spending, I have decided to cut back on some of the lesser projects.

This city is having problems with its emergency personnel, or lack there of. Rather than increasing city spending and hiring three new firefighters, I have devised a solution. A volunteer fire department will be brought into play. This department will be comprised of entirely trained volunteers. Also, to insure that this department is successful, the local high school will offer a class credit to any student above 16 years old, which participates in this program. (This program is saving the community $90,000.)

In order to solve the city's growing welfare problem, we have proposed that a low-cost quality day care be implemented.

Space is already available in one of the city's elementary schools, so no additional monies will be needed to build a facility. Staffing of this day care would be made up of elderly citizens wishing to give back to society or just looking for something to do. (This program is saving the community $60,000.)

We have observed that many different bridges are in need of some serious repair. Traffic is getting progressively worse and it is slowing the emergency vehicle response times. Last year, while the mayor was in office, he repaired two bridges. During this next year, the 3rd Street Railroad Overpass will be fixed entirely. The River Road River Bridge will be repaired using four-year increments. Each year $30,000 will be spent just to keep this bridge safe enough to use and on the four...