Wise Spenders

Houston named one of America's best-run cities, but survey doesn't look at potholes

Houston named one of best-run U.S. cities, but potholes not included

Houston sunrise skyline downtown blue streaks Sept. 10, 2014
Houston sunrise: The city ranks No. 9 on new list of well-run U.S. cities. Photo by Nic Phillips

Opinions on how well the city of Houston is run by its government may vary depending on your political leanings, but according to a new study done by WalletHub, the Bayou City ranks as one of the best-run cities in the entire United States.

On a list that included 65 of the most populated U.S. cities, Houston comes in at No. 9 in spending taxpayer dollars most efficiently.

Texas claims 10 of the top 24 cities, including Lubbock (No. 1), Dallas (4), Garland (No. 8), Austin (tied for No. 15), Fort Worth (No. 20) and Arlington (No. 24).

As WalletHub readily acknowledges, the rankings can be taken with a grain of salt. For one, the rankings were determined by the return on investment (ROI) cities received in only three key categories of public spending: education, police, and parks and recreation. 

Houston ranks No. 1 in parks and recreation, and No. 16 in education, but a low ROI in police (No. 55 of  the 65 cities surveyed) dropped it down overall.  

Dallas ranked in the mid-20s in the first two categories, but a No. 7 ranking in parks and recreation greatly boosted its overall status. 

In a perfect world, WalletHub also would have included how well cities spent money on public transportation, health and condition of city streets, but its researchers were not able to find sufficient comparative data to do so.

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