The Political Economy of Special-Purpose Government by Kathryn A. Foster

By Kathryn A. Foster

In fresh a long time, neighborhood governments throughout the US have more and more grew to become really expert features over to independent organisations ranging in scope from subdivision-sized water districts to multi-state transit professionals. This ebook is the 1st complete exam of the factors and outcomes of special-purpose governments in additional than three hundred metropolitan components within the usa. It offers new facts at the fiscal, political, and social implications of hoping on those specified districts whereas delivering very important findings approximately their use and importance.

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S. metropolitan regions. 30 As early as the 1600s, colonial governments chartered private and public corporations to provide goods and services beyond the then-limited responsibilities of local governments. Early public corporations catered to the needs of the commercially oriented municipalities of the era. Most of these pre-1800 districts were created to construct canals, roads, bridges, and harbors that would expedite, and thereby lower the costs of, moving goods and people. These corporations were quasi-public in scope: they were financed by a combination of public revenues and privately raised capital, managed by boards of directors who often sold the corporation's stock back to the government, and endowed with considerable autonomy over service levels and operations.

Revenue Raising Special-purpose governments rely on a variety of revenue sources, which are set forth in their enabling legislation. Taxing districts draw primarily on property tax levies but may also receive funds from bond issues, grants, user fees, rents, special assessments, and other taxes. Nontaxing authorities have similar funding options, with the exception of property taxes. Nationwide, 63 percent of the approximately 24,000 districts that reported revenue characteristics raised some revenues from property taxes.

The wisdom of my own institutional choice to accept a job at the University at Buffalo has been affirmed repeatedly by the collegial and talented group of students, staff, and faculty I have found there. I thank especially my colleagues in the Department of Planning and the School of Architecture and Planning for many kinds of support, from reading early chapters to creating the intellectual and congenial environment within which education can flourish. I was fortunate in the final stages of manuscript preparation to have able graduate assistance from Kristen E.

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