The intergovernmental grant system as seen by local, State, and Federal officials : Page: 3
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OF CITY AND COUNTY EXECUTIVES
The ACIR-ICMA questionnaire survey of city
and county executives used the standard mailing
list of ICMA's Urban Data Service Center. Questionnaires
were mailed in the fall of 1975 to the
chief executives of all cities over 10,000 population
and all counties over 50,000 population. Two
questionnaires were used: the first dealt with Federal
grants-in-aid and the second with state grantsin-aid.
The questions ranged over a variety of current
issues in the design and operation of the Federal
and state intergovernmental grant systems. The
Federal aid questionnaire contained about twice as
many questions but generally both questionnaires
focused on the fiscal and administrative effects of
the two intergovernmental grant systems. While a
number of questions dealt partly or entirely with
block grants, the principal emphasis was on the
categorical grant system at both the Federal and
state levels. Separate studies have been conducted
by the Commission on the operations and effects of
the four major block grants.
The questionnaire response rates were near 50
percent or better for the population groupings of
cities of 50,000 and over, and for the population
groupings of counties of 500,000 and over. The low
response rating for the smaller localities is not
unusual in questionnaires of this kind. It might
lead one to question whether the problems dealt
with in the questionnaire are really as troubling as
is commonly thought, inasmuch as the questionnaire
offered a reasonably convenient instrument
by which dissatisfied local officials could express
their views. Yet, there was clear indication among
those localities that did respond, including the
smaller jurisdictions, that, despite reform efforts,
many friction points continue to exist in the Federal
and state aid systems. The responses have been
analyzed and interpreted so as to distinguish, in
most cases, those made by officials from cities over
50,000 and counties over 500,000 from those made
by the respondents as a whole. The principal findings
and conclusions summarized below are based
on the responses from the total group. With rare
exceptions, the responses from the officials of the
larger cities and counties were in accord with these
SUMMARY OF PRINCIPAL FINDINGS
I. The Federal Grant System
For 199 responding cities that received Federal
grants in both FY 1969 and FY 1974, the
average (mean) number of grants received in 1969
was 4.1 and 8.8 in 1974, or an increase of 114.6
percent in the five-year period. The comparable
figures for 40 counties were 7.7 and 18.4 respectively,
or an increase of 139.0 percent.
A substantial body of opinion exists among
city and county officials, and particularly among
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United States. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations. The intergovernmental grant system as seen by local, State, and Federal officials :, book, March 1977; Washington, D.C.. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1368/m1/12/: accessed April 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.