Government Operations and Community Development

Local Records Management

The Mandate: Local municipalities are required by state law to retain and manage an immeasurable number of various documents, which requires a significant expenditure of time and money by the municipalities. In 1989, the Local Government Management Improvement Fund was created to assist the municipalities in complying with the mandate and to improve local government records management. The money is collected by County Clerks on every deed and mortgage filed in their offices by local citizens, which is then distributed back to local governments through a competitive grants program.

The Cost: In March 2008, a portion of the money collected by county clerks was swept into the state's general fund. Using these funds for state general fund relief means that local governments will have to expend more of their resources to cover the cost of this mandate.

The Solution: The state should not be permitted to balance its own budget deficits by using money directly collected by and for local governments.