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. Policy decisions often depend on money. Local Governments Local governments provide many services that meet many citizens’ human needs include education, health and welfare and public safety. Education Local governments spend the most money on education State government pays about 1/3 of schooling costs 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 laws. oLocal health inspectors inspect restaurants, markets, hotels, and water. o Public Safety What do you do in an emergency? Dial 911 Fire, Ambulance, Police Also in non-emergency Also hire people to make sure safety rules or codes are being followed Utilities Many water and sewage treatments plants are owned by local governments. 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 community. 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 communities Land Use Planning People who plan must think about how new roads, new factories and other new developments affect existing communities. Land Use New Businesses mean more jobs – but also more traffic, pollution, water usage. Reno, Nevada – in a desert – Uses water from the Truckee River. 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 capacity. 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 follow. 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 Taxes 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 services Inspecting buildings (to make sure they meet code) Bridge tolls Park Entrance Fees Parking Meters Borrowing 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 projects) Limits on Revenue Most communities face problems paying for services. 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.