Local Government in Texas: Cities, Counties, and Special Districts. Background. Local governments are founded on concept of local sovereignty Jefferson believed local sovereignty was rooted in the sovereignty of the individual
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Cities with fewer than 5,000 residents are general law cities, with restrictions in organizing their government, setting taxes and annexing territories. They are allowed only those rights specifically granted by the legislature.
Cities of greater than 5,000 may adopt any form of government, provided it doesn’t conflict with the Texas Constitution. These are home rule cities, and the city adopts a charter under which the city operates. The charter establishes the governing body, organization of agencies and courts, and procedures for elections, annexation and revisions to the charter.