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Local Government Consolidation in the United States By Dagney Faulk and Michael Hick ...

Chapter 1:  Introduction
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Local Government Consolidation in the United States

Chapter 1

Introduction

The role and structure of local government is changing. The large number of local taxing units, including counties, municipalities, townships, school districts, and a variety of special districts, has resulted in a framework of taxing districts wherein a resident may live in multiple, overlapping jurisdictions. In Indiana, for example, residents may live in up to 11 taxing districts. The current structure of local government is commonly viewed as resulting in unclear lines of authority, which limit accountability, decrease efficiency, and increase the costs of government.

People's dissatisfaction with government spending and the quality of local government services has led to a variety of modifications. These changes include restraining spending through tax and expenditure limits, shifting the funding of primary and secondary education from the local to the state government, and modifying the structure of local governments through consolidation in order to reduce spending and/or increase the quality of local government services.

Local governments all over the United States are attempting to find ways to lower their spending and increase their accountability. In many