Improving Local Service Delivery

Improving Local Service Delivery is a history of attempts to reform the service delivery systems of city and county governments in Georgia over the past 50 years. It focuses on proposed strategies to eliminate service duplication and double taxation of citizens in financing local government services. The constitutional equalization of legal authority between counties and municipalities is considered in terms of its impact on local service delivery. Proposals to reduce the number of counties in Georgia are evaluated. It further examines alternatives for improving local service delivery through political or functional consolidation of counties, merger of cities with counties, municipalization of Georgia’s urban counties, and joint performance of city and county functions and responsibilities. Remedies for resolution of city and county disputes regarding service delivery are identified. Finally, it reviews the history and constitutional challenges regarding Georgia’s Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) for financing local government services.