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sometimes shared as well; Illinois distributes one tenth of the revenue from the state income tax to local governments, including counties. States, such as Wyo. and Ky., also may share severance tax revenue. Oregon counties receive a portion of numerous state taxes, including the cigarette tax, liquor tax receipts, beer and wine taxes and video lottery receipts.


The federal government also provides funds to counties, either directly or passed-through other entities, such as the state (called here, “passed- through funds”). According to the single audits submitted annually by counties that used more than $500,000 in federal dollars in fiscal year 2013, only 14 percent of federal funding used by counties was received directly. Most of this federal passed-through funding is restricted, either matched to certain programs, or received as reimbursement for expenditures made in those programs. Some of the major federal programs from which counties receive money directly include: Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) ($ 452 million in FY2016), Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) ($3 billion in FY2016), Secure Rural Schools (SRS) ($278 million in FY2015) and the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) ($60 million in FY2015). Counties utilize funding from dozens of federal programs, often passed-through the state or other entities.


FORTY-TWO (42) OF THESE STATES PLACE LIMITATIONS ON THE ABILITY OF COUNTIES TO GENERATE REVENUE FROM PROPERTY TAXES


MOST OFTEN, 93 PERCENT OF THE STATE AND FEDERAL FUNDING USED BY A COUNTY IS RESTRICTED TO SPECIFIC ACTIVITIES


in fiscal year 2013, only 14 percent of federal funding used by counties was received directly.


The most used passed through federal funding streams to counties include the Medical Assistance Program ($24.8 billion in FY 2016), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Medical Assistance Program ($5.7 billion in FY 2016), Foster Care Title IV-E ($2.1 billion in FY 2016), Highway Planning and Construction ($1.9 billion in FY 2016) and Child Support Enforcement ($1.4 billion in FY 2016).


In 42 states, the majority of federal funding used by counties was indirect. In Calif., La., Minn., N.Y., Ohio, Tenn. and Wis., more than 90 percent of federal funding used by counties was passed-through the state government or other entities.


Counties typically possess little discretion over where to


utilize these financial resources. Most often, 93 percent of the state and federal funding used by a county is restricted to specific activities.8


For instance, the state of Washington provides funds to counties for


criminal justice expenses related to prosecutors and judges in Wash. The state of Maryland has directed nearly $2.8 billion to counties over the past decade for public school construction. Because these funds are often in the form of earmarked grants for operational expenses or capital expenditures of specific activities, counties do not have the flexibility to reallocate funds for other local needs.


STATES PLACE NUMEROUS LIMITS ON THE ABILITY OF COUNTIES TO RAISE REVENUE. Most states have limits on property taxes, the main general revenue source for counties. Of the 48 states with county governments, counties in 45 states collect property tax revenue (Maine, N.H. and Vt. are the exceptions). Forty-two (42) of these states place limitations on the ability of counties to generate revenue from property


NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of COUNTIES | NOVEMBER 2016 COUNTY LINES, SPRING 2017 59


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