Governing Partners: State-Local Relations in the United States

By Russell L. Hanson | Go to book overview

to a time of fiscal austerity and smaller government. It is also a strategy compatible with ideas about people taking responsibility for their lives. What better way to relieve government of some of its social welfare burdens and at the same time build a competitive economy for the future than by encouraging members of the labor force to gain the skills that will enable them and the firms they work for to carve out a place in the international marketplace? Besides, the idea of boosting the institutional capacity of local government and private actors is appealing at a time when demands on state resources for health care, law enforcement, prisons, environmental protection, higher education, and property tax relief preclude heavy investment of discretionary revenues in economic development.

If Third Wave ideas do indeed attract consensus, then the intense involvement of states and localities that marked the 1980s will give way to a certain detachment. In the realm of economic development, states and their local governments will come increasingly to serve not as funders or grantors or micromanagers or even deal makers, but as catalysts and facilitators. This is how the Third Wave policy theorists see the future: Government, they suggest, will look more like a wholesaler in the economic development domain and less like a retailer of grants and programs.


NOTES
1.
There is considerable debate over the validity of this proposition, but the most plausible research finding is that state economic development efforts may slow, but not reverse, economic decline. See Lowery and Gray 1992; Brace 1993.
2.
Raw data were furnished to the author by the U.S. Conference of Mayors covering the period from 1981 to 1993.
3.
Occasionally, a state will contract out the development of its strategic plan to a consulting firm.
4.
Tax reduction was a major theme (though not the only one) of a number of early strategic plans, including those generated in Wisconsin and Iowa in the mid-1980s. But contrast this emphasis with the following passage from Oklahoma's strategic plan of 1988: "While everyone desires low taxes, many experts believe that increased taxes in Oklahoma would help rather than impede economic development, if wisely invested in appropriate public services" ( Oklahoma Department of Commerce 1994: 87).
5.
Tax abatements provide temporary relief from property taxes for certain qualifying real estate projects. Tax increment financing uses the anticipated increment in value from a development project to back bonds that in turn raise capital to help finance certain aspects of the project, such as infrastructure and land clearance.
6.
The belief that small firms were the primary job generators was the product mainly of work done by David Birch ( 1979). Subsequent research, however, has called into question the role of small business. Harrison ( 1994), for example,

-106-

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Governing Partners: State-Local Relations in the United States
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • Tables and Figures ix
  • Preface xi
  • 1 - The Interaction of State and Local Governments 1
  • 2 - The Intergovernmental Setting of State-Local Relations 17
  • Notes 36
  • 3 - State-Local Relations: Union and Home Rule 37
  • Notes 51
  • 4 - Emerging Trends in State-Local Relations 53
  • Notes 74
  • 5 - The Politics of State-Local Fiscal Relations 75
  • 6 - Partners for Growth: State and Local Relations in Economic Development 93
  • Notes 106
  • 7 - The State-Local Partnership in Education 109
  • Notes 137
  • 8 - Environmental Regulation and State-Local Relations 139
  • Notes 159
  • 9 - Untidy Business: Disaggregating State-Local Relations 161
  • 10 - The Politics of State Health and Welfare Reforms 177
  • Notes 198
  • References 199
  • About the Editor 213
  • About the Contributors 215
  • Index 217
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