Tag Archives: new york state courts

Bureaucracy: Census Bureau State & Local Government Finances Data for FY 2004 and FY 2014

This, the final post a this compilation of the most recent state and local government finances data from the Census Bureau, is about administrative functions I have grouped together as “bureaucracy.” It includes data on the most governmental of government functions: the kind of activities one might expect to find taking place in city and town halls, county seats, county courthouses, and state capitals. Reviewing applications, keeping records and doing inspections, rather than providing services. The functions included are, as delineated by the U.S. Census Bureau, Judicial and Legal, Financial Administration, Protective Inspection & Regulation, Central Staff, General Public Buildings and, at the state level, Social Insurance Administration (state Departments of Labor). I also include Health, because it overlaps with these categories, as it includes not only “provision of services for the conservation and improvement of public health, other than hospital care” but also “health related inspections – inspection of restaurants, water supplies, food handlers, nursing homes, agricultural standards or protection of agricultural products from disease” along with animal control.

The situation and trend for these public functions is the same as most of the others. Expenditures on public services provided today is going down, when measured per $1,000 of area residents’ personal incomes, as pension expenditures are going up. The result is lower pay and benefits for new public employees, falling state and local government employment relative to population, and – unless there are increases in productivity to offset this – falling public services received. With the rise of information technology, productivity gains in bureaucratic categories are certainly possible, but with public employee unions, civil service laws, and politics they are uncertain to unlikely.

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Bureaucracy: Census of Governments Data

This post will complete my series on different government functions based on finance data from the 2012 Census of Governments, a more long-term analysis aside. It includes data on the most governmental of government functions: the kind of activities one might expect to find taking place in city and town halls, county seats, county courthouses, and state capitals. Reviewing applications, keeping records and doing inspections, rather than providing services. The functions included are, as delineated by the U.S. Census Bureau, Judicial and Legal, Financial Administration, Inspection & Regulation, Central Staff, General Public Buildings and, at the state level, Social Insurance Administration (state Departments of Labor). I have grouped them under the title “Bureaucracy.”

When I first started compiling Governments Division data from the Census of Governments, I noted that the cost of New York’s state and local government bureaucracy per $1,000 of state residents’ personal income was about average. So was its bureaucratic employment level per 100,000 residents. In addition the cost and employment level of local government bureaucracy was about the same in different parts of New York State, broadly defined. All that made it much less interesting. There are some differences, however, and in any event I want this compilation to be comprehensive. And besides, if you add them all up at both the state and local level the cost of these government functions is substantial. In New York State it averages about 1.7% of all of the personal income of all state residents not including, in many cases, employee benefits and pensions. A brief discussion follows.

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