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.
Can Rural Georgia Save Itself?
Posted 2018 April
From a speech presented to the now defunct “Community Developers Forum of Georgia” circa 1992-3. The Forum was composed of various agencies and organizations involved in community planning and development. Many of the suggestions on how rural Georgia might “save itself” are as relevant today as they were then.
Greater Government of Istanbul
This article is derived from a report prepared by the author following a consultancy mission at the Union of Municipalities of the Marmara Region (UMMR) in Istanbul, Turkey. The purpose of the mission was to review and discuss with elected officials from member municipalities the progress of the self- development program of the UMMR and to conduct evaluation seminars with UMMR staff. This project was carried out through extensive visits with mayors of selected municipalities throughout the UMMR region from September 26-30, 1988.
GEORGIA’S LOCAL OPTION SALES TAX
History and Constitutional Challenges
By James V. Burgess, Jr.
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This article defines LOST, records the history of LOST in Georgia and examines the constitutionality of LOST through four legal challenges since 1975, the last of which invalidated the procedure for judicial resolution of county and municipal disputes on how to divide the tax. It concludes with a discussion on the future of LOST and offers recommendations.
The Issue of Double Taxation in Georgia
by James V. Burgess Jr. and Michael B. Brown
This article discusses tax inequities in municipal and county taxing, its history, and possible remedies. Click on the link above to download a free copy of the Journal and the article.