MDB Insight Blog


Municipal Budget Best Practices During an Economic Slowdown

Many financial experts have been talking about the possibility of a global economic slowdown in the next couple of years, based on a myriad of statistics. Recently, the Chief Economist and Strategist of Gluskin Sheff & Associates warned that there is a risk for a recession in 2019.

An economic slowdown means more pressure is put on the municipal budget. There is less money available for assessment, and that money has to go further in order to support residents during difficult times. Faced with the possibility of a recession, there are a few ways that you can make your municipality’s assessment money last longer for your residents.

Applying Municipal Budget Best Practices

When tapping into what residents want, you can rely on word-of-mouth or coffee talk to get a feel for what people are talking about in a casual setting. In council meetings, you might also take stock of what the residents who attend are asking for.

The issue with these methods is that there is no way of knowing if these anecdotal samples are truly representative of your entire constituency. The local lobbyist that is always at the council meetings may not have the same opinion as other citizens.

To accurately determine what municipal services residents want, data-driven public polling must be conducted. You can initiate a request for proposal (RFP) process, but it might be beyond your current budget or timing constraints especially during an economic recession. The alternative is to invest in affordable tools that streamline the market research process for your municipality, providing real-time data, and actionable plans. Examples include Citizen Satisfaction IQTM and the Tax Sensitivity CalculatorTM.

Municipal Budget Best Practices During a Recession 


Particularly during an economic slowdown, municipal budget best practices must be revisited to ensure that every dollar is wisely spent. The fastest and most reliable method of polling your residents to determine their desired municipal services is through the use of market intelligence tools. 

Our Citizen Satisfaction IQTM tool is a modern approach to polling that ensures you get a more representative sample of your municipality to determine true priorities. The Tax Sensitivity CalculatorTM is an online tool that allows residents to see the impact of their desired municipal services on the bottom line of their own tax bill. In this way, you can see what residents are willing to pay for once the priorities are identified using Citizen Satisfaction IQTM.

We know your spending decisions have to be made carefully, and you can rest assured that these two survey tools will provide timely, accurate data to inform confident decision-making. In addition, your investment will provide actionable plans, from seasoned experts, along with the requested survey data.

See Our Tools at Work

See a Citizen Satisfaction IQTM demo at work and how this tool helps you to better understand your residents’ priorities and make confident budget decisions easier, no matter the economic climate. 

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