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Home Rule and the Size of County Government in Pennsylvania

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  • Latzko, David A.

Abstract

The fiscal behavior of county governments in Pennsylvania is constrained by state law. Counties can adopt a home rule charter, allowing the county government to set tax rates higher than the statutory limits. Opponents argue that home rule leads to higher taxes and an expansion of county government so the legislative tax limitations are necessary to restrain its growth. This paper finds that government expenditures are, indeed, higher in those counties which have freed themselves from the tax limitations imposed by the state legislature; however, the removal of such limitations is not associated with significantly higher per capita tax levels.

Suggested Citation

  • Latzko, David A., 2008. "Home Rule and the Size of County Government in Pennsylvania," Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Mid-Continent Regional Science Association, vol. 38(1).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:jrapmc:132347
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 2003. "Political Institutions and Policy Choices: Evidence from the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 7-73, March.
    2. Dye, Richard F. & McGuire, Therese J., 1997. "The effect of property tax limitation measures on local government fiscal behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 469-487, December.
    3. Ronald J. Shadbegian, 1996. "Do Tax And Expenditure Limitations Affect The Size And Growth Of State Government?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 14(1), pages 22-35, January.
    4. Banovetz, James M., 2002. "Illinois Home Rule: A Case Study in Fiscal Responsibility," Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Mid-Continent Regional Science Association, vol. 32(1).
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    Cited by:

    1. Stine, William F., 2010. "Estimating the Determinants of Property Reassessment Duration: An Empirical Study of Pennsylvania Counties," Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Mid-Continent Regional Science Association, vol. 40(2).

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    Keywords

    Financial Economics;

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