If money keeps piling up in a bank account, either a plan for how to spend it effectively is needed — or perhaps the money isn’t needed at all.
That has started to dawn on those who are monitoring four special funds established to underwrite the cost of regulating financial institutions, the cable industry and condominiums. Example: One fund was created nine years ago to regulate mortgage companies, but nothing has been spent. The $1.8 million that has accrued as of 2018 is still just sitting there.
State officials already have reduced what they’re collecting from such funds or, in the case of the mortgage fund to help consumers harmed in bad lending practices, taken a hiatus from collecting anything. That’s at least a start.
The question is: Shouldn’t some of these funds be dismantled altogether?
The requirements for establishing and continuing special and revolving funds were enacted 17 years ago, as these accounts tend to proliferate. Among these: The fund must serve a need, underwriting a program that cannot be implemented successfully under the regular general-fund appropriation process.
There should be a clear link between the sources of the revenue — here, the businesses — and the benefits it would provide. Is it sensible that they should be paying this fee, in other words?
If not, businesses don’t need yet another burden in this state. Legislators need to take a harder look.