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Unit 7 Part II Objective 31G 31G Examine the powers of state and local governments, their sources of revenue, services provided, and the relationship between state and local Governments. Powers of State and Local Governments;

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Unit 7 Part II

Objective 31G

31G Examine the powers of state and local governments, their sources of revenue, services provided, and the relationship between state and local Governments.

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Powers of State and Local Governments;
  • A State’s legislature can enact any law that does not conflict with any federal law or any provision in that State’s constitution.
  • Most often mentioned powers;
  • Powers to tax, spend, borrow, establish courts, define crimes, and provide for their punishment, regulate commerce, and maintain public schools
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Governors are similar to President in that they are the Chief Executive of the state.
  • Powers often shared with other Executive Officers such as Secretary of State, Attorney General, Treasurer, etc…
  • Governors have power to appoint or remove officials.
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Governors have Judicialpowers that include granting Clemency (mercy) and Pardons.
  • Can also Commute sentences.
  • Can issue Reprieves.
  • Can issue Paroles.
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States also have Police Powers.
  • Also have powers to;

1. Promote Health- Can limit sales of alcohol, tobacco, make laws to combat pollution, require vaccinations for children.

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2. Promote Safety – States can regulate carrying of concealed weapons, require use of seat belts, punish drunk drivers, etc….
  • 3. Promote Morals – States can regulate gambling, outlaw the sale of obscene materials, and prostitution as well as other “vices”.
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4. Promote “General Welfare” – States can enact compulsory education laws, provide help to the medically needy, and limit profits of public utilities.
  • *States cannot use Police Powers in an unreasonable or unfair way.
  • Cannot violate 14th Amendment
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Sources of Revenue;
  • Constitution places some limitations on taxing power of State and local governments.
  • 1. Cannot tax interstate commerce or foreign commerce.
  • 2. Cannot tax federal government or it’s agencies.
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3. 14th Amendment Limitations;
  • Taxes must be fair in their administration
  • Cannot be so heavy as to confiscate property
  • Can be imposed only for public purposes
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Some states have limits on taxes.
  • Some local governments can only tax with approval of State government.
  • Sources;
  • 1. Sales Tax (regressive)
  • 2. State Income Tax (progressive)
  • 43 have state income tax
  • 46 have state corporate taxes
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3. Property Taxes - #1 source of state and local taxes
  • A. Tangible taxes – tax on moving products such as cars, computers, etc…
  • B. Intangible taxes – land, houses, stocks, bonds, mortgages, bank accounts.
  • 4. Inheritance Taxes – aka, death tax or estate tax.
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5. Business Taxes – taxes on anything businesses do such as remove natural resources.
  • Licenses, permits, building permits, operating licenses, professional licenses, (doctors, lawyers, teachers, dentists, barbers, hairdressers, morticians, electricians, plumbers, etc…)
  • Taxes on deeds to property, transferring documents, mortgages, stocks, bonds, etc..
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6. Other taxes –
  • Payroll taxes provide HUGE taxes for States
  • Amusement taxes on movie tickets, entrances to parks
  • Licenses for hunting, fishing, cars, trucks, marriages, filing for divorces, etc…
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7. Non tax Sources –
  • Grant from federal government
  • Toll roads and bridges
  • Ferry boats
  • Public transportation fees
  • 18 states sell liquor
  • Many states control utlities
  • Rent public lands
  • Paramutual gambling such as casinos and lotteries.
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8. Borrowing –
  • States often borrow money for purposes such as bridges, highways, public buildings, schools, etc… BONDS
  • Some states have constitutional limits on amount that can be borrowed.
  • Some states have constitutional amendments requiring balanced budgets.