POSC Chapter 11 Notes
POSC Chapter 11 Notes POSC 2306
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Popular in POSC
This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kailey Mathews on Thursday September 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POSC 2306 at West Texas A&M University taught by Melissa Henderson in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views. For similar materials see Texas State & Local Government in POSC at West Texas A&M University.
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Date Created: 09/22/16
POSC 2306 Chapter 11 How is local/city government relevant to your life? The government policies, programs and laws that affect us most directly, day in and day out, are passed and carried out by our local governments General law city- incorporated community with a population of 5,000 people or fewer o General law cities are limited to doing what the state authorizes or permits them to do Home Rule City- City with a population of more than 5,000 people o Can adopt its own city charter- the organizing document for a municipality o Can structure its local government as it sees it as long as local ordinances do not violate the state and national constitution o Right of citizens at the grassroots level to manage their own affairs with minimum interference from the state o Annexation power o Initiative, Referendum, and Recall These are unique to home rule cities and are not available at any other level of government Initiative- allows local voters through the use of a petition to propose new legislation for their city that a city council refuses to enact Referendum- allows voters to repeal an existing ordinance that may be unpopular Recall- allows voters to remove members of the City Council Forms of municipal government: Council-Manager System o An elected City Council makes laws and hires a professional administrator/manager o CEO of a city o Specific duties: Mayor-Council System o System where the mayor, who is chosen in a citywide election is both the chief executive of the City and the leader of the City Council o Strong mayor form- A full time Mayor handles most operations of the city His job o Weak mayor form- Mayor and Council share all duties o Meet every two weeks unless big city Public meeting Follow a close agenda Cannot talk about things that are not on agenda Local political culture determines expectations about appropriate standards of services and tolerable levels of taxation Sources and amount of revenue vary greatly o The size of the city’s population o The amount and type of taxes a city is allowed and willing to levy o The total assessed value of taxable property within the city limits o The needs of the residents Sales Tax o Depend heavily on sales tax o Sensitive to economic fluctuations o Must build into a reserve fund to compensate for inconsistent sales tax revenues Property Taxes o Tax rate is a percentage of the assessed value of real estate in the City limits o A “poor” city must set a very high tax rate to provide adequate services o Home rule municipalities can set property tax rates as high as $2.50 per $100 of assessed value o Amarillo only charges 0.35 cents per $100 of valuation Lowest in the state User Fees o Fees paid by individuals who receive a particular government service o Fees for City provided water, sewage, garbage collection, golf courses Public Debt o Money owed by a government through the issuance of bonds o Issue bonds to finance major projects with voter approval o Funds infrastructure such as roads and public facilities County Government General purpose government with much less flexibility than municipal governments 254 counties in Texas They are an extension of state government at the local level Run by a County commissioners court and a County judge They are not a judicial body – they are legislative in nature o Four year terms o They approve the budget for all county operations o Set the tax rate for the county o Pass ordinances on a narrow range of policies They do not have direct control over many elected department heads o For example, they Sheriff, District Attorney, County Attorney, etc County law enforcement o Sheriff – chief county law enforcement officer Typically have a large budget and staff Operates the County jail and executes court orders o Constables – County law enforcement officials who are elected to serve as the process officer of justice of the peace courts Also have general law enforcement powers Deliver summons and execute court orders o Other county officials: Tax assessor-collector County Treasurer County Auditor County Clerk District Clerk County Attorney Special District Government o Local governments that provide single or closely related services that are not provided by general-purpose city or county government o Multimember boards usually govern special districts Example, Library Council of Governments o Advisory bodies consisting of representatives of various local governments brought together for the purposes of regional planning and cooperation Not a government Voluntary regional groupings of local governments The Texas Panhandle
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