“Does Having Lots of Local Governments Help or Hurt Economic Development?
Richard Florida. May 6, 2013
Americans are far more likely to like their local government than that at the state or federal level, a recent Pew Research Center report finds. But can some places have too many local governments?
Urban planners and good government types have long been concerned with what they see as the growth and proliferation of local agencies across counties and metro areas. They even coined a word for it — “political fragmentation” — which they argue generates duplication and inefficiency in the delivery of local services. The ultimate consequences include higher tax burdens, increased fiscal stress on local governments, and reduced levels of economic growth.
Some advocate consolidating government agencies across cities, counties, and metro areas — a phenomenon sometimes referred to as “metropolitan government.” Metro government has already been instituted in a number of metro areas including Indianapolis, Nashville, Kansas City, Louisville, and Jacksonville. Calls for government consolidation have only risen in light of the increasing budget woes and fiscal stress that have followed the economic crisis.”