New Study on City Spending Confirms What We Already Know
Visitors to Show-Me Daily have probably come across the numerous ways that Kansas City has wasted money. Now, it’s possible that these were isolated incidents. However, WalletHub published a new study that points to Kansas City having a larger, systemic problem with how it spends taxpayer dollars.
According to this study, Kansas City ranks 61st out of 65 cities in regards to spending efficiency. I won’t bore you with all of the gritty details on how WalletHub came up with their figures. The Reader’s Digest version is that this study divides a city’s total park acreage, test scores, and crime rate by it’s per person spending on parks, education, and police. The city with the highest quotient is the “most efficient”.
Besides pointing out the ways that Kansas City has wasted money, the Show-Me Institute has also shown that Kansas City spends a lot of money overall. In a 2013 case study, I examined St. Louis and Kansas City’s per person expenditures compared to six other other cities. Kansas City spent the 3rd most, just barely behind Denver. The case study didn’t say whether Kansas City was being efficient or not with taxpayer money, but with such high spending, the chance for inefficiencies increased. The WalletHub Study lends further credence to the notion that Kansas City taxpayers aren’t getting the best bang for their bucks.
The WalletHub study isn’t the definitive work on city spending, but it should serve notice to policymakers that maybe Kansas City should take a good look at how to improve the way it runs things.