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03 January 2011

Honest Question: Why Aren't Surplus Tax Dollars Returned Back To The Taxpayers?

The southwest Georgia city of Albany announced December 29th that they took in more tax dollars than they needed to fund government operations.

The City of Albany Finance Department has received notification from its auditors that the final General Fund operating budget figures for the fiscal 2009-2010 are in and are very encouraging.

Revenues for the year came in very close to projections, while operating expenditures were much lower than expected. The net result is that the city of Albany operated on a budget surplus of over $1,800,000.

Miller, David (2010-12-29). City runs $1.8 budget surplus. WALB-TV. Retrieved on 2011-1-3.

It is extremely encouraging when government, at any level, lives within its means. The city of Albany should be applauded for balancing its budget, and having money left over. However, the obvious question is what will Albany's city government do with the $1.8 million-plus in surplus funds -- spend it or return it back to the taxpayers?

Here's your answer:

These funds will be accounted for back into the city's General Fund for future use.

It makes me wonder:

Why aren't surplus tax dollars ever returned to the taxpayers?