Wednesday, June 21, 2006

An interesting government study

The Indiana Department of Local Government Finance released an interesting study recently.

They studied how much each city spends for each resident. The results were surprising and interesting. This study only involved 1st and 2nd class cities in Indiana.

The biggest spender is no surprise, it is Bloomington, Indiana at $5,446.
The next highest was Gary at $3,947.
Then Richmond at $3,714.
Then Anderson at $3,342.
Then Mishawaka at $3,029.
Then Evansville at $3,006.
Then South Bend at $2,887.
Then East Chicago at $2,868.
Then Michigan City at $2,679.
Then Hammond at $2,220.
Then Marion at $2,134.
Then New Albany at $1,968.
Then Fort Wayne at $1,694.
Then Kokomo at $1,678
Then Muncie at $1,608.
Then Terra Haute at $1,353.
Last is Indianapolis at $1,016.

What is most frightening about this is that Indianapolis and Marion County are merged. Since they are merged residents of Indianapolis get more services then the residents of any of the other cities.

The people who favor consolidation in Fort Wayne will point to this study, and they should. I am not in favor of wholesale consolidation; however, I am in favor of consolidating those items that make sense.

It is amazing that Indianapolis is the cheapest when you consider that it provides the most services.

Mike Sylvester


Doug said...

Is that study available online? I'm curious where Lafayette fits into the equation.

LP Mike Sylvester said...

No it was in The News Sentinel in Fort Wayne a couple of weeks ago...

Our newspaper did not list lafayette.


Anonymous said...

Not a suprise at all. Bloomington is an awesome, progressive city!

Doug said...

Thanks. Any idea whether some cities are simply providing more services or whether some cities are noticeably more effective at providing services for less? (Almost certainly it's a combination, I suppose.)

LP Mike Sylvester said...

I think there are many reasons why the numbers or so different. In my opinion it boils down to:

1. The quantity and quality of
services provided.
2. The commerical tax base in each
community (Not tax abatements
tend to drag this base down).
3. The amount of debt (Bonds
generally) that each community
carries. Those communities
with a high debt load have to
pay their debt off.
4. Government efficiency.
5. Amount of private investment.

I think you have to consider all of them...

Mike Sylvester