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POSC Chapter 11 Notes

by: Kailey Mathews

POSC Chapter 11 Notes POSC 2306

Marketplace > West Texas A&M University > POSC > POSC 2306 > POSC Chapter 11 Notes
Kailey Mathews
GPA 4.0

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About this Document

These notes cover class lecture over Chapter 11
Texas State & Local Government
Melissa Henderson
Class Notes
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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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