County and City Government Market

Part
01
of three
Part
01

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.

OVERVIEW

  • 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 SERVICES

  • 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.

POLICE SERVICES

  • 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.

WASTE COLLECTION

  • 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).

FIRE/EMERGENCY DEPARTMENTS

  • 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.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

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.
Part
02
of three
Part
02

Common Local Government Services Part 2 of 3

The national average spent per household on property taxes is about $2,279 annually. Costs for business licenses range from $75 to $100. Building permits cost on average $1,073 per household. Below you will find a closer look into these figures.

Property Taxes

  • According to USA Today, American households paid around $278 billion in 2016 in property taxes.
  • 84 million households in the US paid an average of $3,296 in property taxes, which amounts to an average 1.15% effective tax rate.
  • In 2019, Wallethub estimated over $2,279 is spent on property taxes per household in America.
  • However, average property tax in 27 states is about $440.
  • Hawaii, Alabama and Louisiana have the lowest effective real estate tax rate at 0.27%, 0.42% and 0.52%.
  • Meanwhile, New Hampshire, Illinois and New Jersey have the highest at 2.20%, 2.31% and 2.44%.
  • Business License fees depend on the city, county or state in which the business is located. Additionally, business renewal and additional estate fees must be taken into account. These fees range from about $75 to $100 on average.

Building Permit

  • The national average for building permits, depending on the city, ranges between $363 and $1,784 where the lowest cost could be $100 and the highest around $7,000. The median cost is $1,073 per household.
  • Permits for building a house average around $1,200 to $2,000, permits building a garage average around $1,200 to $1,500, and demolition permits average around $200.
Part
03
of three
Part
03

Common Local Government Services Part 3 of 3

The average cost of parking tickets for a common citizen in the US is $12 per year. Additionally, the average cost of a parking violation in major cities across the US range from $60 to $240, depending on city and type of violation. The average traffic ticket fine in the US is about $124, making it rank as the 15th most expensive traffic ticket fine in the world. The average cost for obtaining a pet license in the US is in the range of $10 to $20; for major cities in the US, the pet licenses need to be renewed annually. The comparison of parking fines, traffic penalties, and pet license charges across major cities in the US is presented in the report.

PARKING TICKETS

  • According to a recent report by INRIX Research, parking tickets cost an average United States driver $12 per year. Further, the average number of parking fines received by a driver in the U.S. are just 0.20 per year, meaning that United States parking tickets cost about $60 on average.
  • A survey of more than 1,000 drivers from 16 cities across the U.S. reveals that the average cost of a parking violation falls in the range of $60 to $240 depending on the city's rules.
  • The average number of parking tickets received by a driver every year across major cities in the US is as follows: New York City (1.31); Los Angeles (1.05); San Francisco (0.89); Washington DC (0.81); Seattle (0.45); Boston (0.72); Chicago (0.71); Atlanta (0.58); Dallas (0.54); and Detroit (0.35).
  • In research conducted by CarRentals, it was found that street sweeping was the most common violation, representing 41% of all parking violations. It is followed by expired meters at 24%; red zone at 11%; preferential parking at 10%; and no-zone parking at 6%.
  • The average penalty for parking violations across major cities in the U.S. are as follows: San Francisco ($110.71); Chicago ($98.54); Washington DC ($97.28); Philadelphia ($85.63); Boston ($83.20); New York City ($63.40); Los Angeles ($36.47); Seattle ($27.08); Atlanta ($11.85); Dallas ($2.03); and Houston ($4.37).
  • The fines for an expired meter across major cities in the U.S. are as follows: Cleveland ($25); Chicago ($50-$65); Pittsburgh ($25-$45); New York City ($35-$65); Los Angeles ($63); Houston ($30); San Francisco ($73-$84); Philadelphia ($26-$36); Louisville ($15); and Milwaukee ($22).

TRAFFIC TICKETS

  • According to a study by GoCompare, the average traffic ticket fine costs about $124 in the U.S., making it the 15th most expensive country for traffic violations in the world.
  • An average fine of $100 is imposed in the U.S. for using a phone device or violating a red light while driving.
  • According to Esurance, the average fine for speeding in the U.S. is about $150.
  • Virginia has one of the most expensive fines for speeding, with a roughly $2,500 penalty for driving more than 10mph over the designated speed limit. Alternatively, in Tennessee, traffic tickets are seldom more than $50.
  • In Washington DC, the DMV collected an average traffic ticket fine of $161 in 2018; alternatively, the average traffic ticket fine for California is $150.

PET LICENSE

  • The average cost to obtain a pet license in the U.S. is about $10 to $20. For major cities in the U.S., the pet licenses need to be renewed annually.
  • The issuance of pet licenses in the U.S. is governed by a city or county council. The licensing fee for non-spayed pets is generally higher everywhere in the US.
  • The cost of obtaining an annual license for spayed pets in New York City is $8.50, while the licensing fee for adult non-spayed pets is $34.
  • The cost of obtaining an annual license for spayed pets in Chicago is $5, while the licensing fee for adult non-spayed pets is $50.
  • The cost of obtaining an annual license for spayed dogs in Seattle is $37, while the licensing fee for adult non-spayed dogs is $105.
  • The cost of obtaining an annual license for spayed cats in Seattle is $26, while the licensing fee for adult non-spayed cats is $79.
  • The cost of obtaining an annual license for spayed dogs in Los Angeles is $20, while the licensing fee for equines is $14.
  • The cost of obtaining an annual license for spayed pets in Atlanta is $10, while the licensing fee for adult non-spayed pets is $25.
  • The cost of obtaining an annual license for spayed pets in Denver is $15, while the licensing fee for lifetime $150.

Sources
Sources

From Part 01
Quotes
  • "The federal government owns a wide variety of water rights, whether obtained under state law or through federal reservation, and has a wide variety of responsibilities for managing those water sources, such as allocating the waters of the Colorado River through the Boulder Canyon Project Act or utilizing unreserved waters for federal purposes or in the aid of navigation. At the same time, the Department recognizes the goals of the discussion draft to prohibit the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture from conditioning any permit, approval, license, lease, allotment, easement, right-of-way, or other land use or occupancy agreement (hereinafter “permit”) on the transfer of a private party’s state water right to the United States. "
  • "Section 4 of the discussion draft requires the Secretary of Agriculture and Interior to recognize the long-standing authority of states to manage and allocate water resources, and to coordinate with states to ensure that federal actions are consistent with, and impose no greater restriction or regulatory requirement than applicable state water law allows for purposes recognized by state law."
Quotes
  • "In fall 2018, about 56.6 million students will attend elementary and secondary schools, including 50.7 million students in public schools and 5.9 million in private schools."
  • "Total public elementary and secondary enrollment is projected to increase between fall 2018 and fall 2027 to 52.1 million."
  • "Public school systems will employ about 3.2 million full-time-equivalent (FTE) teachers in fall 2018, such that the number of pupils per FTE teacher—that is, the pupil/teacher ratio—will be 16.0."
Quotes
  • " Police departments, libraries, and schools — not to mention driver’s licenses and parking tickets — usually fall under the oversight of state and local governments. Each state has its own written constitution, and these documents are often far more elaborate than their federal counterpart."
Quotes
  • "The number of people employed as Police officers has been growing at a rate of 6.07%, from 744,674 people in 2016 to 789,908 people in 2017."
  • "This line chart shows the 10-year projected employment growth (from 2016 to 2026) for Police officers. This profession is expected to grow lower than 7.4%, the average rate of national job growth."
Quotes
  • "Americans, on average, visit their local park and recreation facilities more than twice a month. Sixty-eight percent of survey respondents report having visited a local park and/or recreation facility within a month of participating in the survey."
  • "More than nine in 10 Americans agree that parks and recreation is an important local government service."
  • "Americans on average visit their local park and recreation facilities more than twice a month."
Quotes
  • "Overall management of municipal solid waste (MSW) across America is currently in fair condition. In many cases, the transport and disposal of MSW is self-funded and managed by the private sector, and therefore is sufficiently funded. "
  • "The average American produces 4.4 pounds per person per day of MSW, down from the peak of 4.74 pounds in 2000, however that has remained relatively flat over the past 25 years. "
Quotes
  • "In 2016, state and local governments spent $175 billion, or 6 percent of direct general spending, on highways and roads."
  • "Forty-five percent of highway and road spending goes toward operational costs, such as maintenance, repair, snow and ice removal, highway and traffic design and operation, and highway safety. The other 55 percent goes toward capital spending, namely the construction of both highways and roads. "
Quotes
  • "NFPA estimates there were approximately 1,056,200 firefighters in the US in 2017. An estimated 373,600 (35%) of these were career firefighters and 682,600 (65%) were volunteer firefighters. "
  • "The larger the community, the more likely EMS service was provided. Nationwide, 13,631 (46%) departments provided EMS with basic life support, 4,629 (16%) departments provided EMS with advanced life support, and 11,559 (39%) departments did not provide EMS. "
Quotes
  • "U.S. Fire Administration: $45.679 million (including $1.5 million for infrastructure improvements)"
  • "The new law also authorizes funding for the ALERT grant program, which is administered by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to train emergency responders for rail incidents involving hazardous materials."
From Part 03
Quotes
  • "The City of Chicago requires dogs to be licensed as a way of proving that they have been properly vaccinated for contagious diseases. The license is $5 and can be obtained from the Chicago City Clerk, but without it pet owners could face a fine of up to $500."
  • "Pay $5 or $50 (un-neutered dogs) / $2.50 or $5 (un-neutered dogs) for senior citizens"
Quotes
  • "They collected that undue sum from 219,703 ticketed motorists, who had an average ticket debt of $161 apiece. Debt collectors brought in approximately $127 million in outstanding debts, fines and fees, such as overdue parking and traffic ticket fines and ticket debt, owed to the District Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) from FY 2014 through FY 2017, reports the Chief Financial Officer."
Quotes
  • "Licenses for spayed or neutered dogs of any age cost $8.50 per year. If your dog is not spayed or neutered, a license will cost $8.50 if the dog is under 4 months old, or $34 if it is older than 4 months. License fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. If you do not renew a license on time, you may be fined $2 for each year the license was not renewed."
Quotes
  • "In most places, basic annual license fees are about $10 to $20. Almost everywhere, fees are higher for animals that have not been spayed or neutered."
  • "Some places have raised fees for unaltered animals substantially to encourage people to get their pets spayed or neutered. In King County, Washington, for example, licenses for unaltered animals cost $60-but owners also get a $25 voucher, accepted by most local veterinarians, toward the cost of spaying or neutering."
  • "City governments regulate animals within their borders; in unincorporated areas, the county takes responsibility. No matter where you live, you can probably get your license by mail. "
Quotes
  • "The ticket will be $150 in Oakland County, according to the county’s website, but Gocompare researched tickets in all 50 states and got a nationwide average of $124. "
  • "The average for U.S. municipalities that ban driving with a handheld device is $100, good for 21st most expensive."
Quotes
  • "According to Esurance, the average speeding ticket across the U.S. costs $150. That average hides some of the serious variances in the data, however. In Virginia, for example, speeding tickets can run as high as $2,500 for driving at least 10 mph over the speed limit, which is considered reckless driving. In other states, like Tennessee, you'll likely never see a ticket above $50."
  • "In New York, for example, driving uninsured could result in a fine of up to $1,500; licence and registration revocation; as well as imprisonment for up to 15 days."
Quotes
  • "With millions of parking tickets issued each year, we wanted to find out what parking was really costing drivers. So, we pulled city data records for 16 major cities and surveyed over 1,000 drivers across the country to find out the real impact of parking tickets and what overeager meter maids were really costing drivers in both time and money."
  • "Parking tickets are an important part of city revenue — so big that the 16 major U.S. cities we studied collectively pull in over $1.4 billion in annual parking ticket revenue. "
  • "A single parking ticket offense ranges from $60–240 depending on the rule broken and city."
  • "Street sweeping is the most commonly issued ticket, representing 41% of all parking citations from coast to coast. For example, the City of San Francisco issued almost 540,000 street cleaning tickets for a value of $36,718,640."
Quotes
  • "In addition, the survey also asked how many parking tickets motorists received annually. New Yorkers and Angelenos once again topped the list, this time with the most parking tickets per year at 1.31 and 1.05 respectively, although the average American gets one every five years. Interestingly, U.S. drivers spend eight times more a year overpaying for parking than they do in parking tickets."