Common Local Government Services Part 1 of 3
In addition to the client's listed examples of local government services, additional local government services include water regulation, public schools, police departments, parks and recreation, waste collection, street construction, and fire departments.
- In addition to property taxes, parking tickets, business licenses, building permits, pet licenses, and traffic tickets, other common local government services include water, public schools, police departments, parks and recreation, waste collection, street construction, and fire and emergency departments, according to the White House website. Details about these other common local government services are provided below.
- Water management is one of the more important priorities on both federal and local levels, with multiple resolutions provided yearly for local water regulation.
PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM
- More students in the United States attend public schools than private, according to the National Centre for Education Statistics (NCES). There were 50.7 million students in public school as compared to 5.9 million in private schools in the fall of 2018.
- According to the NCES, enrollment is expected to increase to 52.1 million between 2018 and 2027, requiring continual priority funding depending on the school district.
- According to Data USA, the number of police officers in the United States is growing, growing at a rate of 6.07% between 2016 and 2018. However, the number of employed police officers is expected to grow lower than the average national job growth (7.4%) over the next ten years.
PARKS AND RECREATION
- The vast majority of Americans use their local and state parks regularly, according to the NRPA's American Engagement with Parks Report. 68% of respondents had visited a local park or recreation facility within a month of participating in the survey.
- According to NRPA report, more than nine in ten Americans agree that parks and recreation is an important local government service. 76% of Americans are more likely to vote for local politicians prioritize parks and recreation.
- According to the 2017 Infrastructure report card, waste management in the United States is well-funded and good condition overall. However, in many cases, waste management is self-funded and managed by the private sector.
- The average American produces 4.4 pounds of municipal solid waste per person per day, which explains why this local service is crucial to manage properly.
STREET AND HIGHWAY CONSTRUCTION
- According to the Urban Institute, roads and highways are kept up well, depending on the allocation of funds from local governments. They state that in 2016, state and local governments spent 6% of direct general spending on highways and roads.
- The Urban Institute states that 45% of highway and road spending goes towards operational costs and the other 55% goes towards capital spending (construction).
- According to a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) report, EMS services are provided based on how large the community is. For fire departments nationwide, 46% provided EMS with basic life support, 16% provided EMS with advanced life support, and 39% did not provide EMS.
- NFPA estimates there were approximately 1,056,200 firefighters in the United States in 2017. Of those, 35% were career firefighters and 65% were volunteer firefighters.
- The president recently signed legislation to improve funding for fire departments, creating the potential for higher quality emergency services locally.
While the research team was able to find enough data on different government services, there was no source definitively listing all the types of government services offered on a local level, especially since each state has its own regulations and constitutions.
Once we had a general summary of services local governments offered, we triangulated which government services have strong presences in local communities, like street construction or fire departments. These local services are essential to living safely and efficiently in daily life, based on the data that we found on our list of seven other local government services, even if the funding for these services is smaller than others. For example, road construction is not as well funded as the public school system, but both are important to communities in different ways. Overall, the research team made a decision to list the most common services that local governments provide based on how essential they are to different aspects of everyday life. We decided this was the best course of action even if it is difficult to measure because of the number of local governments in the United States.