|« New sales tax data improves for Collin County cities||WFAA - Stakes high as cities debate proposed tollway routes »|
Collin County at bottom of federal funds distribution
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
By JESSICA MEYERS / The Dallas Morning News
Collin County, known for its corporate headquarters and explosive growth, has a new distinction: The county reportedly receives the smallest amount of federal funds per person among the country's 200 largest counties.
A Brookings Institution report released this week looked at 2008 federal spending tied to the census in an effort to understand how the upcoming count will affect the distribution of more than $400 billion from federal programs. The bulk of federal assistance goes to states through grants for low-income households and highway infrastructure. States' per-capita funding is tied to income inequalities of high pay and high poverty, Medicaid income limits and the percentage of rural population.
Collin County didn't receive much federal money largely because it doesn't have an income disparity that pulls those funds, said Andrew Reamer, who authored the report. The county got $182 per person in 2008. Suffolk County, Mass., which includes Boston, received the most funding per person at $6,032.
"In wealthier counties, people don't use Medicaid, so they aren't likely to benefit," Reamer said.
Medicaid alone makes up almost 60 percent of federal assistance spending. The low-income health program accounts for most of Collin County's funding, as well. But these services are less utilized than in Texas counties of similar size, said Stephanie Goodman, a spokeswoman for the state's health and human services commission.
Collin County, which has a 6 percent poverty rate, has 31,064 people enrolled in Medicaid. El Paso County, with roughly the same population, has 133,079 in the program. Hidalgo County has 195,559.
That doesn't mean residents can slough off the upcoming census, Reamer said. "If Collin County is undercounted, it may not get its fair share from the state of Texas," he said, pointing to both fiscal and political ramifications. Businesses uses census data to identify markets, and an inaccurate count could lead to mistakes in investment, he said. The data will also be used to draw new legislative boundaries.
The 2010 census may also reveal just how short-lived the county's current distinction is, said Terry Clower, director of economic development and research at the University of North Texas. The county is becoming "more income diverse," he said.
The Observer comments:
My all time favorite Ralph earmark (other than the Fusion Center) is The Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum in Greenville. Ralph's pumped plenty of my dollars for that goofy thing.
... and why Greenville anyway? Audie Murphy was a Farmersville boy.
Comments are closed for this post.