Name: _________________________ Class: ____________________ Date: ________________
Georgia Studies for Georgia Students
Chapter 7: Local Government in Georgia
Section 1
County Government
Use the information from pages 140 - 145 to complete the
1. Each ______________ can decide how it wishes to carve up its land and create
administrative __________________.
2. ________________, and most other states, chose to call its local districts
3. Georgia's Constitution of 1777 created _________________ counties. They [counties]
served as districts from which members of the newly formed state legislature were
4. There was little else for the counties to do, other than to ________________ laws, keep
____________________ records, hold _________________ sessions, and probate
5. The earliest county structures in each county were a ___________________ and a
6. The courthouse was where people came to pay their _______________, record
property ______________, and go to court.
7. The town chosen for the courthouse came to be called the _____________ _________.
8. It was also the market center for _________________, buying __________________,
selling farm ___________________, and for social gatherings and sharing news.
9. Those who lived in rural communities were glad to see the courthouses built because
the county seats were usually near enough to travel to ________________ and back
within the same ____________.
10. Creating more counties also gave _______________ Georgians more
______________________ in state government, since each county had a certain
number of representatives in the legislature.
11. Today, Georgia has _____________ counties.
12. Counties serve as _______________ of the state in each local area.
13. County officials carry out basic state _________________ and enforce state
_____________________ within the boundaries of the county.
14. Some examples are: A county ____________________ conducts Georgia's elections
and voter registration; County _______________ are built and maintained as part of
Georgia's highway system; County ____________ commissioners collect Georgia's
motor vehicle taxes and issue state car tags; and, County ________________
departments carry out disease-prevention measures (vaccines, flu shots).
15. Every citizen of Georgia lives in a ________________, but not all of them live in a
16. An _____________________________ area is an area of the county that is not
included in any city boundary.
17. Residents of unincorporated areas look to _________________ government to provide
basic services.
18. The Georgia Constitution of ___________ gave county governments the authority to
provide such ____________________ services as ________________ and fire
protection, ______________ and storm water collection and disposal, ______________
utilities, and libraries.
19. When it began creating counties, the Georgia constitution established several positions
to be filled by __________________ officials.
20. Like state officials, these positions are called "__________________________ officers"
because they are specifically _______________ in the constitution.
21. The county constitutional officers are _________________, judge of the
_________________ court, ____________ of the superior court, and ___________
22. County constitutional officers are elected for _____________-year terms.
23. In Georgia, the _________________ is designated as the "______________ officer" of
the county - the officer responsible for preserving the peace and carrying out the order
of the county ___________________.
24. Sheriff's department duties include operating the county ____________, delivering
_____________________ (orders to appear in court), enforcing county
_____________________ (local laws), __________________ the county, responding
to _______________________, and enforcing traffic laws in cooperation with the
Georgia State Patrol.
25. Some counties have a _________________ department. County police may carry out
some law enforcement duties, but they do not __________________ the sheriff.
26. The office of the __________ commissioner receives all tax ________________ and
maintains the county's tax records. The tax commissioner also _______________ and
pays tax ______________ (mainly property taxes and motor vehicle registration fees) to
the state and local governments.
27. The _____________ of superior court is the primary record keeper for the county. The
clerk maintains all of the _______________ records and supervises the registration of
property _____________________.
28. The ________________ of probate court oversees matters concerning property
________________, marriage _________________, guardianships, and wills.
29. In 1868, the state began creating the position of county _______________________.
30. Most have a ______________ of commissioners, which has from three to nine
31. The board of commissioners has the _____________ to establish county policies,
_____________ county ordinances, establish the county _______________, establish
_____________ rates, and provide services for the citizens of the county.
32. Sometimes, a county __________________, appointed by the board of commissioners,
serves as the chief administrative officer. The county administrator manages the
_________-to___________ operations of the county and implements county policies
33. Local governments - both counties and cities- have the power to provide services for
their __________________- as long as those services do not violate _____________
and ___________________ laws. This is known as ____________ ___________.
34. However, the state can require the county to provide certain services and
_______________ it from handling other services.
35. For example, county commissioners cannot _______________ court rules or interfere
with the operation of the public ____________________ system.
36. The Georgia Department of _____________________ Affairs (DCA) was created to
help _________________ governments.
37. DCA provides technical and research assistance, and it is the state's key agency in
housing ____________________ and development, comprehensive planning, and solid
_________________ reduction.
38. Even closer to home are Georgia's twelve ________________ commissions.
39. Ranging in size from ________ to _________ counties, the regional commissions help
local governments with services that they may not be able to ______________
40. For example, the regional commission may help a county draw up land use plans for its
future _________________, write grants to finance ___________________
___________________________ (restoring older buildings that are significant in a
community's history), and provide expertise in the use of __________________
information systems (GIS).
Name: ______________________________ Class: ________________ Date: _______________
Georgia Studies for Georgia Students
Chapter 7: Local Government in Georgia
Section 2
City Government and Special-Purpose Districts
Use the information from pages 147 - 151 to complete the
1. Georgia's first cities - ____________________, then Augusta and communities along
the coast - were originally needed as _________________ outposts.
2. City is a term we like to use, but the correct legal term is ____________________
corporation, or municipality.
3. A city is a municipality that has been _______________________ (created) by the
Georgia legislature.
4. Unlike counties, cities are _________________ at the request of the people who live in
a particular geographic _____________.
5. They [residents] formally _____________________ (ask) the ____________________
for a charter to become incorporated.
6. A ____________________ is a written document that gives a municipality the authority
to ________________ and function.
7. There are certain conditions that must be met before a _______________ can call itself
a _______________.
8. The area wanting to be incorporated as a city (a) must have at least ____________
residents; and (b) at least 60 percent of its area must be divided into
________________ (parcels of land) for residential, ________________________,
industrial, institutional, governmental, or _____________________ purposes.
9. Since ________, state law has required those municipal corporations - new and existing
ones - provide certain ____________ services.
10. To keep its charter active, a municipality must provide at least ____________ of the
following services, either directly or by contracting it out to other governments or private
companies: _______________ enforcement; _____________ supply and/or
distribution; _____________ or gas utility service; planning and _______________;
and, ___________________ facilities.
11. In Georgia, cities have adopted one of the following forms of government: (a) strong
_____________ - council form, (b) ___________ mayor-council form, or (c) council -
___________________ form.
12. In the ______________ mayor-council form, the elected mayor is the city's chief
___________________ officer and is ___________________ for seeing that the city's
laws are carried out and its city departments do their jobs.
13. Because of this strong leadership role, the mayor can _________________ department
heads and other city staff, prepare the city's ___________________, and implement it
once it is approved by the city council.
14. Georgia cities usually hold their municipal elections in ____________ - numbered
15. The elected city _______________ sets policies by enacting ordinances and
_____________________ (informal statements of opinion). Although the mayor can
____________ city council actions, the city's charter may allow the council to
_________________ the mayor's veto.
16. ___________________ and ________________ have a strong mayor-council form of
17. Under the weak _______________ - council form of government, the elected city
council has more ____________________ than the mayor.
18. Not only does the _________________ enact ordinances and set policy, it also shares
the job of carrying out ______________ through its system of committees. The council
also takes the lead in developing the city __________________.
19. Under this form, the mayor's role is primarily _____________________.
20. The mayor ____________ have some authority to appoint department heads, but they
must be __________________ by the city council.
21. _________________ has a weak mayor-council form of government.
22. In the council-manager form of ______________________, the city's
______________________ elect a city council that enacts city ordinances and sets the
city's policies.
23. The council hires a _____________________ manager who is responsible for the city's
day-to-day operations.
24. The city manager can _______________ and ______________ department heads and
develop the city's annual budget.
25. The __________________ of a council-manager form may be elected
_____________________ or ___________________ by the city council from among its
members. He or she is usually a member of the city council and can _____________
over its meetings.
26. __________________ and Savannah have a council-manager form of government.
27. A ______________________________ government is one that has formally
_________________ its county operations and governance with one or ____________
of the cities in the county.
28. Consolidated governments reduce _________________ by eliminating duplicated
services. Combining __________ enforcement personnel, ______________ protection,
solid waste (________________________) collection, land use planning, and zoning
functions are examples.
29. There are a number of ___________________-purpose governments in Georgia.
30. A special-purpose ____________________ is a "mini-government" that is set up for a
________________________ purpose or a particular service area.
31. _____________________ districts are the most common form of special-purpose
32. Georgia has ________ county school systems and _________ independent city school
systems. They are governed by locally elected boards of ___________________.
33. Within the guidelines set by ____________ law, local school systems can establish
starting and stopping _________________ for the school day, spell out standards of
___________________ and punishment, determine _______________ codes, and
schedule students' time during the school day.
34. The ________________________ and operation of public schools are
________________ through taxes on __________________ within the county.
35. The Georgia legislature can also establish local _____________________ authorities,
which are special-purpose governments that generate their own
______________________ through revenue bonds.
36. _______________________ bonds are long-term _________________ that are repaid
by the revenue received from _____________ for the use of facilities or services
provided by the authority.
37. Another type of special-purpose district is the central __________________
improvement district (CBID). The CBID imposes property _________________ on the
commercial _________________________ in the district and uses the revenue to make
improvements such as street ____________________ and parking or
__________________ that will attract new business to the area.
(The answers to these questions are found on pages 152 - 153)
38. Just as in government at the state level, ________________ governments must
____________ for the services they provide.
39. _________________ and _____________________ collect several types of taxes.
40. The one relied upon by counties throughout Georgia is the __________________ tax.
41. _____________________ taxes are called _______ __________________ taxes,
which means "according to the value."
42. Ad Valorem taxes are based on a property's ____________ _______________ value,
which is what it could be ______________ for.
43. Property taxes are levied on real property, _____________ and buildings that are
considered permanent or not easily ________________ (your family's house) or
personal property, which refers to movable items of value such as _____________
vehicles, boats, industrial machinery, and merchandise in storage (________________
44. Revenue to _________________ public school systems, administer the courts and
public _____________________, and maintain roads depends upon the
_______________ taxes paid by the owners of real property in a county.
45. The _________________ tax is another source of funds for local government.
46. The state of Georgia collects a _______ percent sales tax on retail sales.
47. Local governments can collect an additional __________ percent general purpose
______________ ______________ sales tax ((LOST).
48. "Local option" means that ______________ in the county or city may decide upon that
additional sales tax amount through a referendum.
49. LOST funds are used for ___________________________ in infrastructure (basic
facilities such as roads and bridges) and projects that serve the entire county.
50. In addition, counties may ask the voters for permission to ________________ an
additional 1 percent ________________ __________________ local option sales tax
51. Examples of SPLOST projects include a new county ____________________ or jail,
water system improvements, new __________ stations, civic centers,
_________________, parks and recreation facilities.
52. Local governments collect a number of other taxes: special use, franchise, insurance,
______________________, occupational.
53. Counties and cities may decide to charge the _______________ of delivering specific
services not to the public at large, but to those people who actually ___________ the
54. This form of "pay-per-use" is called a ____________ fee.
55. Other examples of user fees are those for ___________________ collection,
__________________ and the use of recreational facilities.
56. Cities and counties are partners with state government in providing many services, so
they rely upon ____________________________________ revenues, financial aid
from state and federal agencies.
57. The intergovernmental revenues include funds to pay for the operating costs for health
______________________ and hospitals, road and __________________
construction, regional landfill operations, _____________________ prevention, and
public housing.