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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The fudge factor

Oil and the Halifax city budget

Posted By on Wed, May 21, 2008 at 2:41 PM

All hell is breaking lose in the commodity markets today, and oil, which started off at $128/barrel this morning, quickly soared past $129, then $130, $131 and now $132. At 3:30pm it's at $132.50, and there's still two-and-a-half of trading left. Some economists are saying it will reach $150 in a matter of weeks.

And the just-passed city budget assumes gasoline and fuel prices reflecting $100 oil.

Alas, there's no way to track how much the increase is costing the city, because for all the line-items and to-the-dollar details filling up the budget book, the fact of the matter is that city hall bureaucrats can twist and juggle the numbers pretty much as they please. They'll be able to fudge their way through for a while, and soon there'll be directives to staff to cut down on driving and such. Still, eventually the shit will hit the fan.

It'll be interesting to see when and how all this breaks. It's odd, though, that no other media outlet is even talking about the looming municipal fiscal crisis.

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