How does the City quantify the economies of scale that occur when population increases? Or does the City consider economies of scale when forecasting future budgets given pop. growth?
The way we budget and measure incremental change is not focused on scale economies with respect to population. We measure incremental change according to base expenditures and growth expenditures — what we're continuing and what's new. However, program and service areas routinely move dollars in their base budgets when they find efficiencies, adopt new technology or take on new priorities. Any comparisons over time are effectively comparing apples to oranges with respect to what's being provided by each dollar of spending within each program or service area. In theory, it might be possible to find one or two programs or services that have remained relatively unchanged and stable over the past 10 – 20 years, and to estimate whether the service cost per capita has decreased but, in practice, it would be difficult to find a City program or service that hadn't changed over time.
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