School (2): Hood Finances
27, 2004 - by Angela Gobelin, Simmerville Hood Council member
A successful hood includes
a financial budget, welfare services and fund raising through local taxes.
Learn all about the hood finances in the second articles of our ongoing
Being the head of Simmerville's
finances, I was asked to write the 2nd Hood School lecture which is dedicated
to your hood finances.
In this lecture we will have
a detailed look at the hood's communal economy, including local taxes and
welfare in particular. The basic for all economy is that in order to spend
money you also need to raise money. It is a bad idea to spend more money
than you can raise, and even if it is possible to loan simoleons from a
bank or even do some so called "rosebud transactions", a Hood Council will
to some extend be responsible for pay back time.
You will need a budget for
your hood economy, and the best way to keep track of it would be to leave
it to one elected Hood Council member. My job is to suggest a periodical
budget and then ask for the Hood Council's approval. When it's approved
it will be my job to accomplish the budget.
As the council is representing
different sides of our very diverse community, a budget must keep in mind
that all groups should benefit from it, but of course services like social
welfare might not be equally important to all. Most sims are concerned
that they get something back for what they pay (bills, taxes etc). Make
sure that at least a part of your budget will appeal to them all or you
might be thrown out of local politics next year!
A budget should span a certain
period of time, depending on local conditions and traditions. Simmerville
is a large hood counting about 35 households meaning that time flows rather
slowly, and a natural budget period would be 10 simdays. If your hood counts
only 10 households you might want to make a budget for 25 or even 50 simdays.
Here is the Simmerville budget
I proposed for the coming period and which our local Council approved:
(§56000, sum up the
3 days bills (§16800), divide by 3 days, multiply by 10 days)
Every 3rd day most SimCity
households pay their bills. Most likely they don't think much about what
they will get back, because those bills must be paid whether they like
it or not. The bills cover SimCity services like SimCity Police Department,
SimCity Fire Department, SimCity Times newspaper subscription and also
some general SimCity taxes. The bill cost depends on each household's networth
and house size, and also there is a discount if they have children. You
might like to ask each household to make a note on how much they pay, and
in three days you can easily gather that information. This income is equal
to the hood's costs paid to SimCity. See SimCity Services costs below.
(§14000, §40 x
10 days x 35 households)
You can decide the rate based
on how much money you will need to bring in. Remember that local taxes
comes on top of ordinary bills. In Simmerville we charge each household
§40 per day, which they pay on their Family Day (§200). One sim
households has got the right to pay less, but most pay the same no matter
how large the household is.
Fund raising/gifts §10000
You can either invite the
wealthy sims to donate simoleons to community matters, a general gift (simoleons)
or by paying a specific cost (statue, park renovation, etc ) In Simmeville
we have not done this yet, but we plan to have a fund raising on our June
26th community event, in order to start a garden beautifying project.
You can raise extra income
by fining residents who behave badly or demand extra services. Punish the
family that always leave garbage on the street, or the sim who is observed
slapping strangers on public ground. In Simmerville we charge a fee when
a house is being expanded or greatly rebuilt. We also charge a fee when
we find that residents can't prove they paid the local taxes. Last time
that we ran such a check we got §12500. In Simmerville fees from house
expansions brings in about §5000 per 10 simdays.
Downtown business district
We established a business
district downtown where local residents can hire an office or a show room
for only §50 per day. In this way they can show off their work to
a bigger audience. The district can even be a community lot in Old Town.
(§56000 - this is the
same as Bills, see above.)
The reason why the money
are sent through the hood administration is our local deal with SimCity.
By co-ordinating the bills in this way we gather the costs and are in the
position of request better SimCity deals than if each household should
arrange it on their on. It also helps us to keep track on what services
our residents do request and subscribe.
We offer a wide range of
welfare services available only to sims living in a household with a Net
Worth of less than §50000.
Some services are intended
to help unfortunate sims, others to encourage sims to contribute to the
community by starting home businesses. Most are pay per application, meaning
they are a one time cost. The exception is the senior pay of §100
Retired seniors receive §100
per day. No application needed. Age 60 or older. There are currently 3
sims in Simmerville benefiting from this:
Financial support of §1000
per baby that leaves its cradle. Real born as well as adopted.
Fire insurance - helping with
§500 if values of more than §1000 was lost in a fire
Our home business program includes
a fund of §1000 for establishing a home based business. The money
must be used for buying equipment.
Paying testsims or home businesses
who are testing imported items.
Emergency help - when a meteor
recently hit Simmerville we were able to help replacing private property
for more than §30.000 - thanks to the local taxes!
We initiate some communal
projects that we run in order to help and beautify the hood and all households.
These days we celebrate Simmerville's 300 years anniversary by renovating
some community builds and this huge project might also affect private homes.
Projects might be Garden beautifying, Fences, Pet welfare, Secure the school
bus, Computer in all households, etc.
These events are normally
organized by local interest groups, such as Food Club, Mazaloom Historical
Association, Music Events, etc.
Money is intended for pay
cheques, awards etc.
Paying the Hood Council members
(§12500 - 5x§2500)
Hood Councillors are paid
§250 per day.
* * *
Total income: §102.000
Total spends: §102.000
Like you see, the total
income and the total costs do balance. If we spend less than the budget,
we would transfer the amount on to the next budget period, eventually leading
to lowering the local taxes. If we spend more than we bring in, we must
raise the local taxes or cut down on the welfare services in the coming
You just completed the second chapter of our Hood School! The next chapter
will focus on the hood's law and committees.