Regionalism

Issue

Whether it is just for federal and state governments to impose regionalism to usurp local authority on matters such as taxation, zoning, and use of regional authority to re-allocate tax revenue.

Position

We recognize the need for multi-jurisdictional solutions to multi-jurisdictional issues. We also strongly support local (or home) rule and freedom of association; therefore, we strongly oppose regionalism.

Discussion

Regionalism is a political strategy to centralize, under a layer of government that is often unaccountable to voters, certain local jurisdictions' authorities' to tax, spend, and govern land use. Typical regional objectives are support of urban constituencies; equal outcomes through the consolidation and/or direction of local land planning & zoning; subsidized mass transit; education; and tax authorities. The Atlanta Regional Commission, or ARC, has attempted to pursue several such aims in the recent past.

  • The federal government and participating states promote regionalism through:
    Imposition of suburban growth boundaries (that limit Americans’ choices and promote a return to urban centers)
  • Formation of common urban-suburban tax districts to collect taxes to fund projects and causes throughout the same region- with a priority to liberal urban constituencies
  • Mandating mixed housing that forces low income housing into suburbs (and negates our freedom to associate)
  • Provision of federal grants to jurisdictions that subscribe to regionalism, and imposition of penalties on those that do not

Regionalism violates constitutional law and:

  • Results in unequal representation
  • Diminishes local control
  • Creates an unconstitutional taxing authority
  • Creates a 4th level of government
  • Relies on appointed leaders & representatives instead of ones elected by taxpayers 
  • Lacks the checks and balances of a constitutional republic 

Call to Action

  • Monitor efforts to usurp local authority of your city or county elected officials
  • Monitor local governments to identify and stop land use and taxation measures that support regionalism
  • Express your strong opposition to your local, state, and federal elected officials
  • Question candidates on their knowledge and support/opposition of regionalism; back those who oppose regionalism and expose candidates who support it
  • Sign up for email lists to become informed; download handbills and factsheets.  Donate to the cause

Further Reading

 "How Obama Stole Dubuque", National review, Jan 13, 2016


Additional perspective is available at repealregionalism.com, a site with considerable information.


Kurtz, Stanley, “Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities"


Frick, Karen Trapenberg, "The Actions of Discontent", Journal of the American Planning Association, London, UK, March 19, 2014. Presents conservative position of opposing regional projects, and earned the JAPA's article of the year award.