Managing local government overhead

Monday, August 06, 2007

Managing local government overheads represents a significant competitive challenge among the Northern states.

For example, Northern states generally have a higher number of local government employees per capita that Southern states. This employment structure leads to continuous upward pressure on tax rates. As personal incomes grow more slowly, local elected officials face growing pressure to maintain social services by raising tax rates.

In part, the difference between the North and South reflects old patterns of settlement. In general, the Northern states have a lot more local political jurisdictions per capita then Southern states. (For an interesting book that touches on this history, read Measuring America.)

The Brookings institution has highlighted this challenge and its recent reports on Pennsylvania and Maine. In Maine, the number of efforts are underway to explore streamlining local government. Read more.

Here's an article on the fragmented local government environment in Pittsburgh. Read more.

posted by Ed Morrison |

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