Revenue Sharing

March 28, 1975

Report Outline
Efforts to Ease Black-White Problem
Growth and Varieties of Federal Aid
Problems for Future of Revenue Sharing
Special Focus

Efforts to Ease Black-White Problem

Gathering Drive for Rule by Black Majority

State and local officials all over the country are mounting a concerted drive to make revenue sharing a continuing feature of government. Under the general revenue sharing law of 1972, some $6 billion a year of federal tax collections are being shunted, with relatively few strings attached, into the coffers of 39,000 governmental jurisdictions in the nation. Although the program is not due to expire until the end of 1976, the governors, mayors and other local chieftains are clamoring for assurance from Congress that the largesse will continue to flow after that time. They speak of the need to plan now for the future. Fiscal difficulties arising from the current economic recession have added urgency to their pleas.

Congress is expected to begin consideration of the matter soon after the White House makes good its promise to present the lawmakers early in this session with a bill to extend revenue sharing. President Ford, who as a member of the House of Representatives had voted for the original act in 1972, has reiterated his advocacy of revenue sharing on several occasions since assuming the presidency. In his 1975 State of the Union address on Jan. 15, and again in his budget message on Feb. 15, he promised to send an extension bill to Congress in the near future.

The bill is expected to follow the recommendations of a revenue-sharing task force the President appointed in August 1974. After six months of study and consultation with state and local officials and with leaders of interested private groups, the task force recommended that the program be extended for five years and nine months, until Oct. 1, 1982. The task force also suggested modest changes in the program. The most important proposed reform is to increase the amount going to jurisdictions of unusual need, typically big cities and communities suffering severe joblessness.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Budget Process
Civil Rights and Civil Liberty Issues
State, Local, and Intergovernmental Relations