It is now generally known that communities like Shorewood have a continuity of function and of culture which does not necessarily assist them in operating as democracies were intended to operate.
We are also limited by our almost total dependence on the revenue that we attain from taxing residential property. The reduced costs that come with the efficiencies of consolidating services can not keep up with the general cost of inflation.
Therefore, these efforts, which must be made involve us in a continuing losing battle. The individual resident must bare the increasing cost of rising taxes, just as he/she must carry the inflation cost in everything purchased. Even the increased revenue from the sale of one's home is a phony increase.
We are slowly coming to the realization that the tax base of local communities is not sufficient to rationally carry the costs of the service required. Additional funds most come from production-produced values.
Therefore both national and state governments have initiated a system of income taxes, income being the measure of the value of our collective production. Local governments are not in the same position for making a production-income tax application.
Local government must then depend on grants provided by both state and national governments for these necessary and additional revenues. Just as our school systems require these subsidies, other services must also rely on these production based revenues.
These subsidies then influence local policies. The school subsidy, for example, leads in the direction of attracting families with children because the state's subsidy is based on the number of children enrolled in the system.
No matter how hard local communities try to both keep property taxes down and reduce their dependency on state and national subsidies, the cost of running local government is constantly increasing even if the services are not.
Shorewood especially is in a tight position. It does not have room for industrial park development, which moves some of the tax burden to the production side of things. Its commercial element is rather meager and progress toward its expansion is stagnate because of its very nature.
The property tax is only indirectly production-related in that the value of the home may reflect the return that the occupant receives from his/her engagement in commerce or industry.
As property tax and the tax rate is not as universally applied as income tax is, the juggling of tax rates by each local community may discourage some from living in those communities that appear to have higher rates unless there's a perception of receiving better services.
And around and around we go. We therefore tend not to provide for social services as these services are supported by our property tax revenues. Even public schools have lost their luster as a social service.
Today as we can observe in communities like Shorewood, that most efforts made toward improving the system are merely expended in moving the miniature playing blocks around. And this movement has its costs too.
The cost of personnel and of consultants is included in the block moving as are all the services of citizen volunteers.