8
STATE FINANCIAL SUPERVISION

The authority to borrow is not inherent in local communities, nor is the power to tax exercised by any branch of American government without constitutional restraint. Taxation and borrowing are sovereign functions, and in this country belong to the commonwealths. Cities obtain such rights, either in a general or restricted manner, as they are given to them by state statutes, by state constitutions, or subsequently by the people exercising their constituent powers. The question of home rule in this field resolves itself into a consideration of the advisability of giving to the cities certain freedom in financial matters, including various rights under the general categories of taxation and borrowing.1

At an earlier time, lending by the municipalities would have been considered under this phase of governmental finance, but constant abuse has effectively ruled out this legislative privilege. To dispel effectively any idea that municipal financial indiscretions are a recent invention, and to lay a better background for the causes of state supervision, it will be helpful to glance at excerpts from an auditor's report for 1860 covering "debts due to" and "debt due from" the city:

$100,000 to fund the city's floating debt.

80,000 to fund the city's floating debt.

____________________
1
The question of federal assistance and regulation in the local financial field has been developed since 1930. As yet, although the figures involved are very substantial, the regulation is, for the most part, indirect. The future may hold interesting developments as the national government continues to skip the states in its contacts with the cities. Two very lucid and stimulating articles by Wylie Kilpatrick appear in the June and July issues of the 1937 National Municipal Review, entitled "Federal Regulation of Local Debt" and "Federal Assistance to Municipal Recovery."

-176-

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City Management
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Preface ix
  • Contents xiii
  • Illustrations xix
  • 1 - The Changing City 1
  • 2 - Administrative Principles 22
  • 3 - The Civil Service 49
  • 4 - Personnel Management 70
  • 5 - Revenues and Taxation 95
  • 6 - Finance and Accounting 124
  • 7 - Expenditures and Debts 151
  • Conclusions 174
  • 8 - State Financial Supervision 176
  • Conclusions 194
  • 9 - Centralized Purchasing 199
  • 10 - Planning 226
  • 11 - Zoning 249
  • 12 - Slums and Housing 275
  • 13 - The Law Department 300
  • 14 - Public Health 319
  • 15 - Recreation and Parks 355
  • Conclusions 378
  • 16 - Public Welfare 383
  • 17 - Police Administration 412
  • 18 - Traffic. 449
  • 19 - Fire 477
  • 20 - Public Works 509
  • 21 - Streets 539
  • 22 - Public Utilities 566
  • 23 - Wastes 593
  • Conclusions 620
  • 24- Water 623
  • Conclusions 646
  • 25 - Courts 649
  • Conclusions 669
  • 26 - Education 673
  • 27 - Nominations and Elections 696
  • 28 - New Horizons 716
  • Index 747
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