Local Government

Local Government
Section 2
Services & Revenue
Local Government
What services does local
government provide
Utilities – services needed by
the public, such as water, gas,
and electricity.
Every time officials decide to
handle a problem – they make a
Policy decisions often depend on
Local Governments
 Local
governments provide many
services that meet many citizens’
human needs include education,
health and welfare and public safety.
Local governments spend the most money on
State government pays about 1/3 of schooling
Local governments provide all public education from
elementary to high school.
Make sure state standards are met
Equal opportunities for children
Federal government helps pay for buildings,
lunch programs and programs for children with
special needs.
Health and Welfare
Most programs giving public assistance (or
welfare) are funded by federal, state and
local governments together.
o Local officials carry out the programs.
oCommunities also look after public health.
oLocal officials carry out state health
oLocal health inspectors inspect
restaurants, markets, hotels, and water.
Public Safety
What do you do in an
Dial 911
Fire, Ambulance, Police
Also in non-emergency
Also hire people to make
sure safety rules or codes
are being followed
Many water and sewage
treatments plants are
owned by local
Communities often
arrange for private
companies to supply gas
and electricity
Utilities are best provided
at a local level – to meet
the needs of the local
Land Use
Zoning – local rules
that divide
communities into
areas and tell how the
land in each area can
be used.
Use to plan and
control growth of
Land Use
 People who plan
must think about
how new roads,
new factories
and other new
affect existing
Land Use
New Businesses
mean more jobs – but
also more traffic,
pollution, water
Reno, Nevada – in a
desert – Uses water
from the Truckee
Can’t make more
water flow from river
Las Vegas
A Mirage in a Desert
Las Vegas Water Restriction
Las Vegas to restrict residents' water use
March 2006
U.S. Water News Online
LAS VEGAS, N.M. -- Las Vegas is launching water conservation measures
because water levels in the city's reservoirs are down to 64 percent of
The city is restricting residents with odd-numbered addresses to watering
outdoors only on Tuesdays, while residents with even-numbered addresses
will be allowed to water only on Mondays.
The rules prohibit washing cars at home, and restrict car-washing
businesses to four days a week. Residents won't be allowed to fill hot tubs
or swimming pools, and may operate ornamental fountains only if the
fountains recirculate water.
Restaurants are banned from serving water to customers unless the
customer requests water -- a practice most Las Vegas eateries already
Under the ordinance, first-time violators get a warning, along with a copy of
the conservation ordinance. Second-time violators can be fined $125 to
$150. Afterward, service can be terminated.
Revenue: Paying for Services
 25% of local government revenue comes from
a property tax – a tax on land and buildings
 The county assessor decides how much
the property is worth
 Property owners are charged a fixed
percentage of that value
 Local sales tax
 Income tax
Service Charge and Profits
Cities often charge money for certain
 Inspecting buildings (to make sure they
meet code)
 Bridge tolls
 Park Entrance Fees
 Parking Meters
When Revenue from taxes, fees and City
owned business isn’t enough to cover
costs – local governments borrow money
 Short term need – borrow from bank
 Long term need – like a school building
Sell Bonds
Sharing Revenue
Intergovernmental Revenue – money given by
one level of government to another is another
source of funding for local governments.
Federal and state governments often given
money to local communities. This money is
called a grant
Block grant – general use (education)
Categorical grant (summer job program, building
Limits on Revenue
Most communities face problems paying for
 Demand for services is greater than the
available funds.
 One
of the problems is that States have the
power to tax. They determine what is being
taxed and where the funds are going to go.

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