TIF and the Pandemic, Part Two
In my previous post on the struggle of county health departments during the pandemic, I touched on funding levels for health departments before the pandemic. Even before COVID hit, were funding levels too low?
The Post-Dispatch article states that Missouri spends less state money on public health than any other state. That certainly seems to indicate that public health expenditures are too low in our state. But what if many other states collect public health money at the state level, while here in Missouri we collect it at the city and county level? As long as services are provided, would it really matter who collected the money first? I don’t think so.
Another comparison ranks Missouri rather high nationally in public health spending (ninth) and properly notes that most Missouri public health money is raised and spent at the local level. Most Missouri counties have a local property tax dedicated to funding their health departments. Many of our larger cities do also. So, we ought to realize that the reason the state may rank so low is that we fund public health at the local level while other states seem to fund more of it at the state level. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, but I think people need the full picture of funding services like this before making judgments.