Here's something to ponder today.
There's an incorporated village near me that is home to about 1,000 residents. The village has no downtown; it's been developed along a typical exurban model, with houses along farm roads. The village is out-of-the-way, and they don't want much commercial development.
The village has a MASSIVE tax base, though; it's one of the highest assessed valuations per capita in the country. They provide many services that an equivalent rural town elsewhere in the county could only deam of offering; free central sewer and water, free trash pickup and recycling, free cable television, leaf collection, low cost electricity, great parks, a community center, and jaw-dropping schools.
They've got $12,000,000 in the bank, and it's burning a hole in their pocket. They've approached me about how to spend that money; specifically, they're looking at additional services they could offer their residents. I recommended a few things off the top of my head:
* Build sidewalks, and plow them during the wintertime.
* Cadillac garbage pickup; twice a week, maybe with cans/hobos placed by the house.
* Free high-speed Internet service.
* Energy reduction program; free replacement of low-efficiency furnaces and water heaters.
* Public art, although the opportunities for display are limited.
So, let's say you've got $12,000 for every resident in your town in the bank. Tax refunds aren't an option. In all seriousness, what would you do with it? This isn't a hypothetical question; it's really a middle class but fiscally loaded town.