Now that the budgets are set for a number of local government entities, Tallahassee Reports will begin to research the impact of decisions made by our local officials through votes on taxes and expenditures.
Our first report compares the growth in government expenditures from 2008 through 2016 with other growth measures in Leon County.
The exclusive analysis shows that the growth in government spending for the City and the County from 2008 through 2016, will surpass the percentage growth in population, jobs and consumer spending as measured by taxable sales.
The three government entities reviewed in the analysis are the City of Tallahassee, Leon County, and the Leon County School Board.
For the City of Tallahassee and Leon County we looked at the percentage growth in the General Government Fund. We included the Fire Service expenditures in the City General Fund.
For the Leon County School Board, we looked at the growth in local revenues expended for the operation of the school district.
During the period from 2008 through 2016 (projected), the City’s General Fund expenditures will increase by approximately 19.9%, Leon County’ s General Fund will increase by approximately 14.4%, and the local expenditures for the school district will remain basically flat.
It is routine for policy makers to compare growth in government expenditures to other measures of growth as a justification for expenditures.
For example, growth in population means a need for more services provided by local government. Also growth in consumer spending and jobs could lead to the demand for more services and infrastructure.
Our comparison shows that growth in expenditures for the City and County governments surpass the growth in other measures of growth for Leon county.
The chart below illustrates the comparison of government expenditures to Leon county’s growth in taxable sales, population, and jobs.
Click on chart to see higher resolution.
From 2008-2016, the growth in City expenditures will be approximately 4 times the growth in population and jobs and about 2.5 times the growth in taxable sales by consumers.
During the same period, the growth in County expenditures will be approximately 3 times the growth in population and about 1.75 times the growth in taxable sales by consumers.