Deeper Look: Comparing Fulton spending to other governments

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution compared Fulton County spending on five key services to that of other counties locally and to demographically-similar counties across the country.

Some counties in other states did not offer services comparable to Fulton’s, so their data is not included. And in some cases, departments did not cooperate, such as the Circuit Court for Jacksonville-Duval County, Fla., which has yet to fulfill an open records request.

Below are some of the newspaper’s findings.

Fulton County

 Elections

Voters:  568,295

Spending per voter: $10.77

Employees per 100,000 voters: 3.5

Libraries

Cardholders: 448,753

Spending per cardholder: $64.10

Employees per 100,000 cardholders: 80.9

Senior services

Senior population (55 and older): 197,136

Spending per senior: $93.90

Employees per 100,000 seniors: 53.8

Superior Court

Population: 977,773

Spending per capita: $22.92

Employees per 1,000 cases: 8.7

Tax assessor

Parcels:   343,199

Spending per parcel: $36.98

Employees per 100,000 parcels: 43.1

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Cobb County

Elections

Voters: 415,037

Spending per voter: $7.04

Employees per 100,000 voters: 5.4

Libraries

Cardholders: 345,087

Spending per cardholder: $30.16

Employees per 100,000 cardholders: 64.3

Senior services

Senior population (55 and older): 148,568

Spending per senior: $27.13

Employees per 100,000 seniors: 27.6

Superior court

Population: 707,442

Spending per capita: $8.68

Employees per 1,000 cases: 4.8

Tax assessor

Parcels:   248,121

Spending per parcel: $20.21

Employees per 100,000 parcels: 21.0

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DeKalb County

Elections

Voters: 418,830

Spending per voter: $8.76

Employees per 100,000 voters: 3.3

Libraries

Cardholders: 183,769

Spending per cardholder: $66.36

Employees per 100,000 cardholders: 139.3

Senior services

Senior population (55 and older): 146,229

Spending per senior: $18.04

Employees per 100,000 seniors: 13.7

Superior court

Population: 707,089

Spending per capita: $11.21

Employees per 1,000 cases: 3.6

Tax assessor

Parcels:   235,388

Spending per parcel: $17.75

Employees per 100,000 parcels: 28.0

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Gwinnett County

Elections

Voters: 396,727

Spending per voter: $11.84

Employees per 100,000 voters: 3.0

Libraries

Cardholders: 310,570

Spending per cardholder: $54.05

Employees per 100,000 cardholders: 84.8

Senior services

Senior population (55 and older): 150,739

Spending per senior: $11.94

Employees per 100,000 seniors: 12.6

Superior court

Population: 842,046

Spending per capita: $7.15

Employees per 1,000 cases: 4.3

Tax assessor

Parcels:   273,743

Spending per parcel: $20.87

Employees per 100,000 parcels: 13.5
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Allegheny County (Pittsburgh)

Elections

Voters: 879,284

Spending per voter: $6.44

Employees per 100,000 voters: 4.0

Libraries

Cardholders: NA

Spending per cardholder: NA

Employees per 100,000 cardholders: NA

Senior services

Senior population (55 and older): NA

Spending per senior: NA

Employees per 100,000 seniors: NA

Superior court equivalent

Population: NA

Spending per capita: NA

Employees per 1,000 cases: NA

Tax assessor

Parcels: 574,400

Spending per parcel: $10.13

Employees per 100,000 parcels: 13.2

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Cuyahoga County, Ohio (Cleveland) 

Elections

Voters: 752,203

Spending per voter: $23.21

Employees per 100,000 voters: 13.0

Libraries

Cardholders: 916,385

Spending per cardholder: $71.05

Employees per 100,000 cardholders: 65.1

Senior services

Senior population (55 and older): 374,225

Spending per senior: $32.12

Employees per 100,000 seniors: NA

Superior court equivalent

Population: 1,265,111

Spending per capita: $33.97

Employees per 1,000 cases: 12.1

Tax assessor

Parcels: 525,305

Spending per parcel: $17.78

Employees per 100,000 parcels: 16.8

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Duval County, Fla. (Jacksonville) 

Elections

Voters: 546,581

Spending per voter: $11.56

Employees per 100,000 voters: 6.4

Libraries

Cardholders: 580,904

Spending per cardholder: $64.26

Employees per 100,000 cardholders: 76.8

Senior services

Senior population (55 and older): 211,513

Spending per senior: $20.22

Employees per 100,000 seniors: NA

Superior court equivalent

Population: NA

Spending per capita: NA

Employees per 1,000 cases: NA

Tax assessor

Parcels: 350,119

Spending per parcel: $24.76 (2011-12 budget year)

Employees per 100,000 parcels: 35.0

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Erie County, NY (Buffalo) 

Elections

Voters: 584,622

Spending per voter: $14.36

Employees per 100,000 voters: 13.3

Libraries

Cardholders: 268,025

Spending per cardholder: $102.28

Employees per 100,000 cardholders: 151.1

Senior services

Senior population (55 and older): 270,881

Spending per senior: $7.90

Employees per 100,000 seniors: NA

Superior court equivalent

Population: NA

Spending per capita: NA

Employees per 1,000 cases: NA

Tax assessor

Parcels: NA

Spending per parcel: NA

Employees per 100,000 parcels: NA

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Franklin County, OH (Columbus)

Elections

Voters: 574,563

Spending per voter: $19.22

Employees per 100,000 voters: 8.5

Libraries

Cardholders: N/A

Spending per cardholder: N/A

Employees per 100,000 cardholders: N/A

Senior services

Senior population (55 and older): 255,340

Spending per senior: $106.66

Employees per 100,000 seniors: *

Superior court equivalent

Population: 1,195,537

Spending per capita: $18.11

Employees per 1,000 cases: 10.9

Tax assessor

Parcels: 442,378

Spending per parcel: $33.13

Employees per 100,000 parcels: 22.1

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Hennepin County, Minn. (Minneapolis) 

Elections

Voters: 680,065

Spending per voter: $2.67

Employees per 100,000 voters: 1.3

Libraries

Cardholders: 867,111

Spending per cardholder: $76.86

Employees per 100,000 cardholders:  70.5

Senior services

Senior population (55 and older): NA

Spending per senior: NA

Employees per 100,000 seniors: NA

Superior court equivalent

Population: NA

Spending per capita: NA

Employees per 1,000 cases: NA

Tax assessor

Parcels: NA

Spending per parcel: NA

Employees per 100,000 parcels: NA

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Marion County, Ind. (Indianapolis) 

Elections

Voters: 637,820

Spending per voter: $5.80

Employees per 100,000 voters: 1.3

Libraries

Cardholders: 532,467

Spending per cardholder: $84.92

Employees per 100,000 cardholders: 71.2

Senior services

Senior population (55 and older): NA

Spending per senior: NA

Employees per 100,000 seniors: NA

Superior court equivalent

Population: NA

Spending per capita: NA

Employees per 1,000 cases: NA

Tax assessor

Parcels: NA

Spending per parcel: NA

Employees per 100,000 parcels: NA

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Mecklenburg County, NC (Charlotte) 

Elections

Voters: 576,719

Spending per voter: $7.65

Employees per 100,000 voters: 3.6

Libraries

Cardholders: 224,091

Spending per cardholder: $131.00

Employees per 100,000 cardholders: 165.4

Senior services

Senior population (55 and older): 190,327

Spending per senior: $9.46

Employees per 100,000 seniors: NA

Superior court equivalent

Population: NA

Spending per capita: NA

Employees per 1,000 cases: NA

Tax assessor

Parcels: 357,684

Spending per parcel: $25.30

Employees per 100,000 parcels: 21.0

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Milwaukee County, Wis. (Milwaukee) 

Elections

Voters: NA

Spending per voter: NA

Employees per 100,000 voters: NA

Libraries

Cardholders: NA

Spending per cardholder: NA

Employees per 100,000 cardholders: NA

Senior services

Senior population (55 and older): 219,971

Spending per senior: $5.52

Employees per 100,000 seniors: NA

Superior court equivalent

Population: NA

Spending per capita: NA

Employees per 1,000 cases: NA

Tax assessor

Parcels: NA

Spending per parcel: NA

Employees per 100,000 parcels: NA

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Orange County, Fla. (Orlando) 

 Elections

Voters: 698,539

Spending per voter: $13.83

Employees per 100,000 voters: 6.4

Libraries

Cardholders: NA

Spending per cardholder: NA

Employees per 100,000 cardholders: NA

Senior services

Senior population (55 and older): 248,187

Spending per senior: $3.04

Employees per 100,000 seniors: NA

Superior court equivalent

Population: NA

Spending per capita: NA

Employees per 1,000 cases: NA

Tax assessor

Parcels: NA

Spending per parcel: NA

Employees per 100,000 parcels: NA

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Pima County, Arizona (Tucson)

Elections

Voters: NA

Spending per voter: NA

Employees per 100,000 voters: NA

Libraries

Cardholders: 405,419

Spending per cardholder: $85.26

Employees per 100,000 cardholders: 99.8

Senior services

Senior population (55 and older): NA

Spending per senior: NA

Employees per 100,000 seniors: NA

Superior court equivalent

Population: 992,394

Spending per capita: $30.05

Employees per 1,000 cases: 27.9

Tax assessor

Parcels: NA

Spending per parcel: NA

Employees per 100,000 parcels: NA

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Pinellas County, Fla.

Elections

Voters: NA

Spending per voter: NA

Employees per 100,000 voters: NA

Libraries

Cardholders: NA

Spending per cardholder: NA

Employees per 100,000 cardholders: NA

Senior services

Senior population (55 and older): NA

Spending per senior: NA

Employees per 100,000 seniors: NA

Superior court equivalent

Population: NA

Spending per capita: NA

Employees per 1,000 cases: NA

Tax assessor

Parcels: 434,014

Spending per parcel: $23.62

Employees per 100,000 parcels: 28.3

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Shelby County, Tenn.

Elections

Voters: 491,360

Spending per voter: $8.13

Employees per 100,000 voters: 3.1

Libraries

Cardholders: NA

Spending per cardholder: NA

Employees per 100,000 cardholders: NA

Senior services

Senior population (55 and older): NA

Spending per senior: NA

Employees per 100,000 seniors: NA

Superior court equivalent

Population: NA

Spending per capita: NA

Employees per 1,000 cases: NA

Tax assessor

Parcels: 417,777

Spending per parcel: $24.15

Employees per 100,000 parcels: 33.5

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NOTE: Based on the availability of data, in some cases active voters, library cardholders and property parcels are from the last fiscal year, and in some cases they are current.

In some cases, counties did not track active voters as Fulton does, so voter numbers from the 2012 presidential election were substituted.

Other differences came up in how county’s felony court divisions were organized in other states. Unlike with Fulton’s Superior Court, Pima County’s figures include Probate Court, Franklin County includes adult probation and Cuyahoga County includes probation and court security.

Several out-of-state counties also had dramatic differences between local spending and total spending, which includes federal and state grants. Since this would affect the number of locally-funded employees, the AJC did not include employees per 100,000 seniors in this analysis.

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