I had the pleasure of attending the Spearfish Economic Development Corporation's annual meeting last night at the Spearfish Convention Center. They fed me free meatballs. Mmmm....

They also handed me and the couple hundred other people there a copy of their proposed budget:

Spearfish Economic Development Corporation proposed 2012 budget

Spearfish Economic Development Corporation proposed 2012 budget (click image to enlarge)

Compare that with the budget the Lake Area Improvement Corporation, Madison's equivalent of the Spearfish EDC, submitted to the Madison City Commission last July 11:

Lake Area Improvement Corporation request (page 3) for $140,000 taxpayer subsidy, presented to Madison City Commission, 2011.07.11

(click image to enlarge)

The Spearfish EDC plans to spend $126,000 this year. $80,000 will come from the taxpayers. $46,336 will go toward administration—i.e., paying Bryan Walker to hustle for the city and to keep his stapler loaded.

Madison's LAIC last year burned up $740,000. The $265,000 the LAIC took from the taxpayers in 2011—$140,000 from the regular Madison budget, another $100,000 as Madison's last of five payments into the failed Forward Madison program, and $25,000 from Lake County—is more than double the Spearfish EDC's entire budget. Madison's LAIC spent more on salaries and other employee benefits in 2010—$156,848—than the Spearfish EDC spent on administration, recruitment/marketing, training, and business retention and expansion last year.

Overall, it appears that Madison spends nearly six times more on its economic development corporation than does Spearfish, and at least three times as much on salaries.

I invite reader assessments of whether Madison's LAIC is producing six times as much economic development as the Spearfish EDC.