CHAPTER 14 LOCAL GOVERNMENT
1. Which of the following is not a special district in Texas?
a. hospital district c. municipal utility district
b. metropolitan transit authority d. municipal government
2. All of the following are examples of local governments in Texas except
a. county c. town
b. municipal d. special district
3. All local governments are bound by all of the following except
a. federal laws. c. the United States Constitution.
b. state laws. d. municipal codes.
4. The relationship between states and local governments follows from the fact that states have a
__________ system of government.
a. confederacy c. federal
b. unitary d. federation
5. Texas cities are classified as either
a. incorporated or unincorporated. c. general-law or home-rule.
b. partisan or nonpartisan. d. homogenous or heterogeneous.
6. Which of the following statements about a general-law city is correct?
a. It is an incorporated community with a population of five thousand or less.
b. It is city with a population of over five thousand.
c. It was established in 1912 by a state constitutional amendment.
d. It can adopt its own charter.
7. Which of the following allows registered voters to force a sometimes reluctant city council to place a
proposed ordinance on the ballot?
a. initiatives c. mandates
b. earmarking d. none of these
8. To become a home-rule city in Texas, a city must have a population of at least
a. 15,000 residents. c. 5,000 residents.
b. 25,000 residents. d. 50,000 residents.
9. Voters who wish to remove an existing ordinance can petition the council to hold a(n)
a. referendum election. c. partisan election.
b. initiative election. d. writ of mandamus.
10. Which of the following statements about recall elections is incorrect?
a. They are used in home-rule cities.
b. Recalled members of a city council must step down once the election results are certified.
c. They permit the people to remove the mayor or a member of the council.
d. They are used in general-rule cities.
11. Which of the following is not a restriction imposed by the legislature on cities who use red-light
a. signs must be placed at least 100 feet from the camera to warn motorists
b. fines cannot exceed $75
c. cities are entitled to use their half of the fine money for any purpose
d. over half of the fine revenue will be set aside for a Regional Trauma Account
12. Which of the following is a limit placed on home rule cities in Texas?
a. state law determines the specific dates for municipal elections
b. local government are subject to sunshine laws
c. all local election law changes must meet federal pre-clearance requirements
d. all of these
13. Which of the following is not a form of local government?
a. council-manager system c. commission system
b. mayor-council system d. strong manager-council system
14. In a council-manager form of government, who is responsible for both executing council policies and
managing the day-to-day operations of city government?
a. elected city council members c. the city manager
b. the mayor d. the presiding officer of the city council
15. The powers of the city manager come from
a. a city charter. c. federal statutes.
b. passage of fundamental law. d. the state constitution.
16. In the strong-mayor system, who is responsible for administration of city policy?
a. the council c. the manager
b. the mayor d. the city judge
17. Which of the following is considered a restriction on the powers of the mayor in some strong-mayor
council systems of government?
a. nonpartisan elections c. term limits
b. ethics and campaign finance laws d. all of these
18. In a weak-mayor form of government, power is
a. decentralized. c. centralized.
b. diversified. d. none of these
19. The two largest Texas cities with a mayor-council form of government are
a. El Paso and Dallas. c. Fort Worth and Dallas.
b. Houston and Pasadena. d. Austin and Houston.
20. Which city governments have officials who act as both executives and legislators?
a. strong-major councils c. commissions
b. mayor-councils d. weak-major councils
21. A majority of U.S. cities have all of the following except
a. partisan elections c. al-large elections
b. council-manager form of government d. powers of initiative and recall
22. Which of the following is not an argument used for the use of at-large elections?
a. at-large council members must take a citywide view of problems
b. district elected council persons are focused on the needs of their districts rather than the
community as a whole
c. district representation makes consensus on the council difficult
d. at-large ensures that all interests in the city are represented.
23. Which type of election system has served as the primary means of increasing minority representation
on city councils?
a. pure-at-large c. multi-member districts
b. at-large place d. single-member districts
24. ______________ voting is an at-large system that permits voters to cast one or more votes for a single
a. Pure-at-large c. Modified single district
b. At-large place d. Cumulative
25. Which of the following factors influences the sources and amount of revenue used to meet a city’s
a. size of the city’s population
b. the amount and type of taxes a city is allowed to levy
c. the total assessed value of taxable property within the city limits
d. all of these
26. Which of the following is not a source of municipal revenue?
a. sales tax c. income tax
b. property taxes d. user fees
27. Property appraisals in all local governments are done by which of the following?
a. county clerks c. countywide appraisal authority
b. tax-assessor collectors d. county auditors
28. The maximum property tax rate of a general-law city is
a. $1.50 per $100 of the assessed value of a city’s property.
b. $1.00 per $100 of the assessed value of a city’s property.
c. $2.00 per $100 of the assessed value of a city’s property.
d. $2.50 per $100 of the assessed value of a city’s property.
29. Home-rule municipalities can set property tax rates as high as
a. $2.00 per $100 of assessed value. c. $3.50 per $100 of assessed value.
b. $2.50 per $ 100 of assessed value. d. $1.50 per $100 of assessed value.
30. In 2003, Texas voters approved Proposition 13, which allows cities, towns, counties, and community
a. a property tax cap of $0.68 per $100 valuation of property.
b. the ability to petition for a rollback election.
c. to freeze property taxes for the disabled and the elderly.
d. to have flexibility about freezing and unfreezing property taxes.
31. A rollback election does which of the following?
a. Voters in non-school district jurisdictions limit an increase in the property tax rate to no
more than 8 percent.
b. Voters in school district jurisdictions limit an increase in the property tax rate to no more
than 8 percent.
c. Voters in non-school district and school jurisdictions limit an increase in the property tax
rate to no more than 8 percent.
d. The Texas constitution does not allow local governments to have roll back elections.
32. One can protest their property appraisal for all of the following reasons except
a. excessive value. c. value was less than paid.
b. unequal appraisal. d. failure to grant exemption.
33. Which local government jurisdiction has the highest maximum property tax rate?
a. counties c. general-law cities
b. home-rule cities d. school districts
34. Which of the following is not considered a city user fee?
a. electricity rates c. ad valorem
b. garbage collection fees d. ambulance service fees
35. Local governments use public debt (normally bond issues that must be approved by the voters in a
referendum) to fund which of the following?
a. city services c. roads, buildings, and public facilities
b. public assistance d. health care
36. A _____________ is a tax reduction or exemption a local government grants to an industry or a
business in exchange for some type of benefit to the community.
a. tax abatement c. tax rollback
b. tax forfeiture d. tax rollover
37. Which local government under state law can no longer enter into abatement agreements?
a. counties c. special districts
b. cities d. school districts
38. Abatement agreements which require the industry to compensate a city if it does not live up to its end
of the bargain are called
a. roll backs. c. drawbacks.
b. clawback provisions. d. earmarks.
39. Which of the following statements about mandates is correct?
a. There is an increase in the number of mandates imposed by the federal government.
b. There is a decrease in the number of mandates imposed by the state government.
c. There is a decrease in the number of mandates imposed by all governments.
d. There are no mandates in Texas.
40. Which of the following is not an example of a federal mandate?
a. the Motor Voter Act c. the Americans with Disabilities Act
b. the No Child Left Behind Act d. no-smoking ordinances
41. Which public official is not a member of the Unfunded Mandates Interagency Work Group?
a. the state auditor c. the lieutenant governor.
b. the comptroller d. a state senator
42. Texas cities can keep from being boxed in by suburban “bedroom” cities using their power of
a. eminent domain c. injunctions
b. extraterritorial jurisdiction d. mandates
43. Which of the following statements about colonia is incorrect?
a. Most colonia are along the U.S.-Mexico border.
b. A colonia that is eligible for state aid cannot continue to receive such aid after annexation
by a city.
c. A colonia is a severely impoverished unincorporated area.
d. There are about 1,800 colonia in Texas.
44. All of the following statements about county government are true with the exception of which one?
a. Texas has 254 counties.
b. County government is far less flexible than municipal government in its organization and
c. Texas counties, like cities, have home-rule provisions.
d. Counties cannot pass ordinances unless specifically authorized by the state.
45. In terms of property taxes, the county is limited to a rate of __ per $100 of assessed valuation.
a. 80 cents c. 60 cents
b. 70 cents d. 50 cents
46. Which of the following is an optional county power authorized by state laws and various state codes?
a. a county may establish and maintain libraries
b. county may regulate sexually oriented businesses
c. a county government has the authority to maintain a county hospital
d. all of these
47. Which county official presides over the commissioners’ court?
a. the county sheriff c. the county clerk
b. the county auditor d. the county judge
48. The major influence exercised by the commissioners’ court over the county offices comes from
a. their power of appointment. c. their budgetary powers.
b. their power to remove county officials. d. their authority to pass ordinances.
49. Which of the following is not a power of a county judge?
a. performing marriage ceremonies
b. serving as the head of civil defense
c. exercising judicial authority over felony cases
d. conducting hearings for beer and wine permits
50. Which statement about a commissioners court is incorrect?
a. Commissioner districts need not be drawn on the basis of the one-person, one-vote
b. Four county commissioners make up the membership of the court and are elected for four-
c. Commissioners are elected in single-member districts.
d. Commissioners are frequently referred to as road commissioners.
51. The county sheriff has all of the following functions except
a. law enforcement in the county. c. operates the city jail.
b. hires deputies. d. delivers and executes court papers.
52. Which is considered a county’s most important financial officer?
a. the tax assessor-collector c. the auditor
b. the treasurer d. the board of financial adjusters
53. Which official reviews all county financial records and ensures that expenditures are made in
accordance with the law?
a. the comptroller of public accounts c. the auditor
b. the treasurer d. the clerk
54. The chief record keeper for the county is the
a. county treasurer. c. county auditor.
b. county clerk. d. county assessor-collector.
55. The unit road system does which of the following?
a. requires each county to spend the same amount on roads and bridges
b. allows each commissioner to have the same number of road crew in a given district
c. takes the day-to-day responsibility for roads away from individual county commissioners
and places it in the hands of a professional engineer
d. it can only be created by a petition from the voters
56. Which of the following is an argument for the merit system in county governments?
a. It bases employment and promotion on specific qualifications and performance.
b. It would prohibit termination of employment except for proven cause.
c. It offers job security.
d. all of these
57. ____________ is the merging or joining of responsibilities by county and other local governments.
a. Consolidation c. Unit system
b. Submergence d. Accumulation
58. Two-thirds of the special districts in Texas are
a. single functional. c. classified as community college districts.
b. multiple functional. d. classified as school districts.
59. Which of the following is a dependent agency, and not a special district?
a. crime control and prevention districts c. weed control districts
b. navigation districts d. airport authorities
60. The number of ________ has grown considerably since the 1950s.
a. special districts c. counties
b. townships d. cities
61. Which statement about councils of government (COGs) is correct?
a. Most of their members are municipal and county governments.
b. They are not governments and have no jurisdiction over the various local governments
within its borders.
c. They are a voluntary grouping of governments that have not relinquished any of their self-
d. all of these
62. Which city eventually was successful in building a new stadium for the Dallas Cowboys in 2009?
a. Dallas c. Ft. Worth
b. Irving d. Arlington
63. The lessons learned from observing decision-making in small cities in Texas
a. are good for other small cities only.
b. are usually only relevant to the city observed.
c. apply to all cities but not state and national politics.
d. apply to larger cities, states and the national government as well.