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A Tale of Two Suburbs: A Comparative Analysis of the Cost of Local Government in Long Island and in Northern Virginia

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Publication Date: January 2008

Publisher(s): Center for Governmental Research Inc.

Author(s): Charles Zettek; Scott Sittig

Topic: Banking and finance (Public finance)
Government (Public services and utilities)

Keywords: Government Management

Coverage: New York New York


In 2007, CGR conducted a landmark comparison of local governments on Long Island with a comparable area in northern Virginia. Local government services, including schools, cost 44% less in NVA, although the level of services and citizen satisfaction with those services appear comparable. A detailed comparison of school districts and fire departments showed that NVA manages those services on a countywide/regional basis, whereas Long Island's 127 school districts and 179 fire departments create a fragmented management structure that restricts cost effective use of resources and thus is significant contributing factor to high costs and high taxes for government in New York.


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