Indianapolis spends far less than these other cities on government -- and consequently spends far less on such things as parks, public transportation, the arts and libraries, amenities that some people view as optional but that experts see as critical to making a city vibrant and competitive.
Indianapolis' spending choices underscore two core community values: thrift and an affinity for small government . . .
Overall, spending of tax dollars per person in Indianapolis next year will amount to about $1,420. That's roughly half what Denver, Portland and Seattle spent per resident last year and about $550 less than Charlotte, according to The Star's review of city budgets.
What's missing here? Lucas Oil Stadium? Conseco Fieldhouse? NCAA headquarters? Super Bowl? Yes, Indianapolis has a spending priority. It's SPORTS! The word doesn't even appear in the story. What's up with that? His story indicates our spending is on par with other city's when it comes to public safety, but lags behind in spending on parks, public transportation, libraries and the arts. I think O'Shaughnessy really should have included the sports' component in his analysis. It helps explain a lot. I would also be curious how the amount of tax subsidies for business, including tax abatements, infrastructure improvements, job training grants, etc. compares to other cities.