|About the Book|
After a decade of unprecedented growth in material well-being, Americans are becoming concerned increasingly with the more elusive dimensions of the quality of life. Greater emphasis is being placed on... public services, most of which are bestMoreAfter a decade of unprecedented growth in material well-being, Americans are becoming concerned increasingly with the more elusive dimensions of the quality of life. Greater emphasis is being placed on... public services, most of which are best administered at the state, or even the local, level of government. Thus, rapidly increasing demands are being placed on... lower levels of government, whose ability to raise the necessary revenue is inferior to that of the Federal Government.The Federal Government has responded with generous aid programs- for fiscal 1970, Federal aid to state and local governments amounts to about $24 billion, or over 18% of the combined general revenue of these governments. It is generally agreed that far greater financial assistance will be required... . Towards this end, the existing system... may be improved and expanded- but [its] current complexity... suggests that alternative and complementary channels be explored. Revenue sharing, a form of general and relatively unrestricted Federal grant, administered according to a few simple rules, deserves special attention... . It has received growing support not only in Washington but also among many state and local government officials.The present study reviews and analyzes revenue sharing within the framework of the U.S. system of multiple and overlapping governments, and in the light of the two major recent revenue-sharing proposals of the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations and the Nixon Administration... [T]he study takes account of the existing system... as well as the often conflicting requirements of equity, need, and administrative feasibility. A brief review of the varying uses of revenue sharing by three foreign federal governments suggests not only that this form of federal assistance can be of real economic importance, but also that it must be carefully adapted to the economic, political, and social system of each user.