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Roy Bahl:

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The major objective of this study is to provide government decision-makers with a reasonably complete description and analysis of the trend and pattern of West Virginia state and local government spending. To the extent this objective is accomplished, it will be possible to suggest answers to the following questions:

1. What are the underlying factors which determine intercounty differentials in public expenditures, and how do these factors differ between West Virginia and other states?

2. To what extent are public service levels being equalized among counties within the state, and how would intergovernmental uniformity of fiscal effort affect intrastate disparities in per capita expenditures?

3. How does the county-to-county pattern of spending by local governments differ from the pattern of spending by all levels of government?

4. Does the long-term trend in per capita expenditures of local governments reveal movements toward equalization among counties, economies of scale, and greater homogeneity of fiscal capacity and effort?

5. What are the relative merits of the alternative solutions to the problem of alleviating the increasing fiscal problems of local governments? To what extent are local governments in West Virginia capable of satisfying expenditure requirements from their own revenue sources? Has the present method of shifting functional responsibility from local to state government resulted in equalizing public service levels?


Published by the Bureau of Business Research, College of Commerce and Office of Research and Development of the West Virginia Center for Ap Appalachian Studies and Development West Virginia University.

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