Tour of Missouri Losing Funding
The Tour of Missouri bicycle race is facing a $1.5-million budget cut from the Department of Economic Development. The race has a $3.3 million budget, so this reduction may be substantial enough to cancel the race, which is set to start on September 7.
Previous blog entries here at Show-Me Daily have questioned the value of endeavors such as this that require substantial government funding without providing much economic benefit. Cities have to pay extra to set up the race and provide security, an amount of subsidy that almost certainly eclipses the added tourism benefit.
As Show-Me Institute scholars have pointed out many times in the past, government officials don’t have the ability to spend taxpayers’ money in any better or more efficient way than do the taxpayers themselves. Especially considering current budget problems, spending $1.5 million on the Tour of Missouri is unlikely to better meet the widespread and differing needs of the people of Missouri than if officials were to let those taxpayers keep the money in their own wallets in the first place.
It would have been better to make this decision earlier, before contracts were signed and plans were made, granted. But budget cuts like this one are wise for the state, because current economic constrictions make it more difficult than ever for Missourians to make ends meet.