After all, it's an election year.
One council member voted against that budget - Tony Phillips. Now you might say his vote was politically motivated, too. But the reason Tony opposed this budget is precisely because he knew those revenue projections are fairy tales. Here's a copy of a memo that Tony circulated to fellow council members on November 18.
"As discussed last night, attached is an Excel spreadsheet* that analyzes selected budgeted revenues and expenses from the 2009 City of Allentown Proposed Budget.
"My analysis of budgeted revenues estimates the proposed budget is overstating revenues by $2,076,462 comprised of items where revenues is overstated by $3,143,129 and items where revenues are understated by $1,066,667 (Account #s 5215 and 7116).
"My analysis of budgeted expenses estimates the proposed budget is understating expenses by $2,151,888 comprised of items where total expenses are overstated by $1,126,433 by including theoretical net understatements of certain special expenses (Pension Expense, Capital Fund Contributions & Reserve for Encumbrances) by $3,278,321. I backed out the theoretical understatements at the end of the expense spreadsheet to arrive at the 'working number' of a net expense understatement of $2,151,888.
"The net result of the two separate analyses of revenues & expenses leads me to estimate that the 2009 Proposed Budget includes a net understatement of a deficit of $4,228,350. Combined with the 'published' deficit of $1,793,568 yields a total estimated 'real' deficit of $6,012,918."
* The spreadsheet can be examined here. He tells me it was prepared by a CPA, not him.
Tony, the person snarked on his own blog as in need of "elocution lessons" (Hint, Hint), is the one person on Council who had it right.