Below is a comparison table from the State Auditor’s site(http://www.osa.state.mn.us/Search/CitySearch.aspx) showing some fiscal differences from the most recent year they have on record. There is a lot to see here, so I highlighted the area we will start with today, and continue with more later.
The first highlighted area is the population. Itasca County had a population of 45,034, while Crow Wing County had a population of 62,745, or 39.3% more than Itasca County.
On the last line of the table we find that Itasca County spent $88,472,420, or $1964.57 per person. The same year, Crow Wing County spent $65,518,725, or only $1044.21 per person.
Itasca County spent $22,953,695 more than Crow Wing, which is 35% more. That was $920.36 per person.
Looking at only the per capita numbers, we find that Itasca County spent 88.1% more per person than did Crow Wing County.
Has this spending made our county that much better than Crow Wing? Are we getting our money’s worth?
Can we continue to afford to spend 88.1% more per person?
Let’s start asking these questions.
Please take some time to go through the rest of this comparison table, and feel free to ask questions in the comments. We will be returning to this to explore some more of these numbers.