Home rule and the size of county government in Pennsylvania

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6 Scopus citations


The fiscal behavior of county governments in Pennsylvania is constrained by state law. Counties can adopt a home rule charter, allowing the county government to set tax rates higher than the statutory limits. Opponents argue that home rule leads to higher taxes and an expansion of county government so the legislative tax limitations are necessary to restrain its growth. This paper finds that government expenditures are, indeed, higher in those counties which have freed themselves from the tax limitations imposed by the state legislature; however, the removal of such limitations is not associated with significantly higher per capita tax levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-96
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Regional Analysis and Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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