Revenue Sharing

-- Overview --

President Ford believes that the General Revenue Sharing program, initiated in 1972, has been a resounding success, as it supports and embodies his belief in the concept of Federalism -- that unique aspect of the American system which permits and promotes creativity and freedom of action simultaneously at three levels of government. He has said that "Federalism enables our people to approach their problems through the governments closest to them, rather than looking to an all-powerful central bureaucracy for every answer."

General Revenue Sharing is an effective, efficient and equitable program providing general purpose fiscal assistance to the States and units of local government. For this reason, President Ford sent to the Congress for action the State and Fiscal Assistance Act Amendments of 1975 which authorize the extension and revision of General Revenue Sharing. The principal elements of the renewal legislation that he has proposed include:

The President again strongly urged passage of this legislation in his State of the Union message of January 19, 1976:

"Last year I strongly recommended a five-year extension of the existing revenue sharing legislation which thus far has provided $19 billion to help State and local units of government solve problems at home. This program has been effective with decision making transferred from the Federal government to locally elected officials. Congress must act this year or State and local units of government will have to drop programs or raise local taxes."

In the same effort to return decision making to the local control, President Ford has recommended the consolidation of some 59 Federal programs and the provision of flexible Federal dollar grants to help states, cities, and local agencies in such important areas as health, education, child nutrition, and social services:

"This flexible system will do the job better and do it closer to home."

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