|Political divisions of the United States|
A civil township is a widely used unit of local government in the United States that is subordinate to a county. The term town is used in New England, New York, and Wisconsin to refer to the equivalent of the civil township in these states. Specific responsibilities and the degree of autonomy vary based on each state. Civil townships are distinct from survey townships, but in states that have both, the boundaries often coincide and may completely geographically subdivide a county. The U.S. Census Bureau classifies civil townships as minor civil divisions. Currently, there are 20 states with civil townships.
Township functions are generally overseen by a governing board (the name varies from state to state) and a clerk, trustee, or mayor (in NJ townships and Utah metro townships). Township officers frequently include justice of the peace, road commissioner, assessor, constable, and surveyor. In the 20th century, many townships also added a township administrator or supervisor to the officers as an executive for the board. In some cases, townships run local libraries, senior citizen services, youth services, disabled citizen services, emergency assistance, and even cemetery services. In some states, a township and a municipality that is coterminous with that township may wholly or partially consolidate their operations.
Depending on the state, the township government has varying degrees of authority.
In the Upper Midwestern states near the Great Lakes, civil townships (known in Michigan as general law townshipsand in Wisconsin as towns), are often, but not always, overlaid on survey townships. The degree to which these townships are functioning governmental entities varies from state to state and in some cases even within a state. For example, townships in the northern part of Illinois are active in providing public services — such as road maintenance, after-school care, and senior services — whereas townships in southern Illinois frequently delegate these services to the county. Most townships in Illinois also provide services such as snow removal, senior transportation, and emergency services to households residing in unincorporated parts of the county. The townships in Illinois each have a township board, whose board members were formerly called township trustees, and a single township supervisor. In contrast, civil townships in Indiana are operated in a relatively consistent manner statewide and tend to be well organized, with each served by a single township trustee and a three-member board.
Civil townships in these states are generally not incorporated, and nearby cities may annex land in adjoining townships with relative ease. In Michigan, however, general law townships are corporate entities (e.g. they can be the subject of lawsuits), [ citation needed ] In both documents and conversation, "town" and "township" are used interchangeably. Minnesota townships can be either Non-Urban or Urban (giving the township government greater power), but this is not reflected in the township's name. In Ohio, a city or village is overlaid onto a township unless it withdraws by establishing a paper township. Where the paper township does not extend to the city limits, property owners pay taxes for both the township and municipality, though these overlaps are sometimes overlooked by mistake. Ten other states also allow townships and municipalities to overlap.and some can become reformulated as charter townships, a status intended to protect against annexation from nearby municipalities and which grants the township some home rule powers similar to cities. In Wisconsin, civil townships are known as "towns" rather than townships, but they function essentially the same as in neighboring states. In Minnesota, state statute refers to such entities as towns yet requires them to have a name in the form "Name Township".
In Kansas, some civil townships provide services such as road maintenance and fire protection services not provided by the county.
In New England, states are generally subdivided into towns and cities, which are fully functioning municipalities that provide most local services. With the exception of a few remote areas of New Hampshire and Vermont and about half of Maine, all of New England lies within the borders of an incorporated municipality. New England has counties, though in southern New England, they are strictly used as dividing lines for judicial systems and statistical purposes, while in northern New England, they may handle some law enforcement, education and other limited functions in addition to judicial systems. New England also has cities, most of which are towns whose residents have voted to replace the town meeting form of government with a city form. In portions of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont county subdivisions that are not incorporated are occasionally called townships, or by other terms such as "gore", "grant", "location", "plantation", or "purchase".
The State of New York is subdivided into counties, which are subdivided into towns - except for New York City, whose five coextensive counties for state government purposes are municipal boroughs for city government purposes (Bronx County/The Bronx, Kings County/Brooklyn, New York County/Manhattan, Queens County/Queens, and Richmond County/Staten Island). As in New England, the term "town" equates to "township" in most other states. Additionally, New Yorkers colloquially use the term "township" to mean “town”. Townships and hamlets are unincorporated areas within a town or towns. Because towns are administrative divisions of a county, town boundaries cannot cross county lines. In addition to administrative subdivisions, New York State also has cities and villages. These are municipal corporations and, thus, are able to cross county lines. In addition to usually being smaller than cities, villages are subordinate to the towns and counties in which they are located and village residents pay both village and town taxes. Cities, on the other hand, are fully autonomous jurisdictions within the state, whose governments are independent of town and county control.
A Pennsylvania township is a unit of local government, responsible for services such as police departments, local road and street maintenance. It acts the same as a city or borough. Townships were established based on convenient geographical boundaries and vary in size from six to fifty-two square miles (10–135 km2).
A New Jersey township is similar, in that it is a form of municipal government equal in status to a village, town, borough, or city, and provides similar services to a Pennsylvania township, and varies in size from one-tenth (Shrewsbury Twp.) to one-hundred (Jackson Twp.) square miles.
In the South, outside cities and towns there is generally no local government other than the county.
North Carolina is no exception to that rule, but it does have townships as minor geographical subdivisions of counties, including both unincorporated territory and also land within the bounds of incorporated cities and towns (as well as the extraterritorial jurisdiction of municipalities). Every county is divided into townships as mandated since the North Carolina Constitution of 1868. Some urbanized counties such as Mecklenburg County (Charlotte) now number their townships (e.g. "Township 12") rather than using names. Townships all over the state used to have some official organization and duties but now are only considered ceremonial divisions of each county. Township names are still used quite extensively at the county government level in North Carolina as a way of determining and dividing up areas for administrative purposes; primarily for collecting county taxes, determining fire districts (e.g. Lebanon Township in Durham County gives its name to the Lebanon Volunteer Fire Department), for real estate purposes such as categorizing land deeds, land surveys and other real estate documents, and for voter registration purposes. In most areas of North Carolina that are outside any municipal limit (outside cities or towns), townships are used to determine voter polling places, and in most instances county election boards divide up their voter precincts by township. However, there is no government per se at the township level in North Carolina, and there are no elected or appointed offices associated with townships.
In 2015 Utah created a form of civil township called a metro township. While each metro township has a mayor — all located in Salt Lake County — are Kearns, Magna, Copperton, Emigration Canyon and White City.and township council, and manage a budget, and cannot be annexed without its permission, its powers of taxation are limited, and must contract with other municipalities or municipal shared-service districts for most municipal services (police, for example). The five metro townships
As of 2012, there were 16,360 organized town or township governments in the following 21 states:
There were 29 states without organized town or township governments as of 2020:
Lynda Bowers, Lafayette Township Trustee, noted that we already have property that is dual citizenship and they pay taxes in 2 places. There is Chippewa Lake in Lafayette Township, Westfield Village in Westfield Township and Lodi in Harrisville Township.
A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposes, in certain modern nations. The term is derived from the Old French conté or cunté denoting a jurisdiction under the sovereignty of a count (earl) or a viscount. Literal equivalents in other languages, derived from the equivalent of "count", are now seldom used officially, including comté, contea, contado, comtat, condado, Grafschaft, graafschap, and zhupa in Slavic languages; terms equivalent to English language administrative terms like municipality, district, circuit and commune/community are now often instead used.
A town is a human settlement. Towns are generally larger than villages but smaller than cities, though the criteria to distinguish them vary considerably between different parts of the world.
A unitary authority is a type of local authority that has a single tier and is responsible for all local government functions within its area or performs additional functions which elsewhere in the relevant country are usually performed by national government or a higher level of sub-national government.
Township refers to various kinds of settlements or administrative subdivisions in different countries.
In the United States, a county is an administrative or political subdivision of a state that consists of a geographic region with specific boundaries and usually some level of governmental authority. The term "county" is used in 48 U.S. states, while Louisiana and Alaska have functionally equivalent subdivisions called parishes and boroughs, respectively.
A district is a type of administrative division that, in some countries, is managed by local government. Across the world, areas known as "districts" vary greatly in size, spanning regions or counties, several municipalities, subdivisions of municipalities, school district, or political district.
An unincorporated area is a region of land that generally refers to not being governed by a local municipal corporation; similarly an unincorporated community is a settlement that is not governed by its own local municipal corporation, but rather is administered as part of larger administrative divisions, such as a township, parish, borough, county, city, canton, state, province or country. Occasionally, municipalities dissolve or disincorporate, which may happen if they become fiscally insolvent, and services become the responsibility of a higher administration. Widespread unincorporated communities and areas are a distinguishing feature of the United States and Canada. In most other countries of the world, there are either no unincorporated areas at all, or these are very rare; typically remote, outlying, sparsely populated or uninhabited areas.
A census-designated place (CDP) is a concentration of population defined by the United States Census Bureau for statistical purposes only. CDPs have been used in each decennial census since 1980 as the counterparts of incorporated places, such as self-governing cities, towns, and villages, for the purposes of gathering and correlating statistical data. CDPs are populated areas that generally include one officially designated but currently unincorporated community, for which the CDP is named, plus surrounding inhabited countryside of varying dimensions and, occasionally, other, smaller unincorporated communities as well. CDPs include small rural communities, colonias located along the Mexico–United States border, and unincorporated resort and retirement communities and their environs.
A minor civil division (MCD) is a term used by the United States Census Bureau for primary governmental and/or administrative divisions of a county, such as a civil township, precinct, or magisterial district. As of 2010, MCDs exist in 29 states and the District of Columbia. In New York and New England, they are towns. In Puerto Rico the MCD is called a barrio or a barrio-pueblo.
Political divisions of the United States are the various recognized governing entities that together form the United States – states, the District of Columbia, territories and Indian reservations.
A township in some states of the United States is a small geographic area.
An incorporated town is a town that is a municipal corporation.
Local government in the United States refers to governmental jurisdictions below the level of the state. Most states and territories have at least two tiers of local government: counties and municipalities. In some states, counties are divided into townships. There are several different types of jurisdictions at the municipal level, including the city, town, borough, and village. The types and nature of these municipal entities vary from state to state.
A borough in some U.S. states is a unit of local government or other administrative division below the level of the state. The term is currently used in six states:
The New England town, generally referred to in New England simply as a town, is the basic unit of local government and local division of state authority in each of the six New England states and without a direct counterpart in most other U.S. states. New England towns overlay the entire area of a state, similar to civil townships in other states where they exist, but they are fully functioning municipal corporations, possessing powers similar to cities in other states. New Jersey's system of equally powerful townships, boroughs, towns, and cities is the system which is most similar to that of New England. New England towns are often governed by a town meeting legislative body. The great majority of municipal corporations in New England are based on the town model; there, statutory forms based on the concept of a compact populated place are uncommon, though elsewhere in the U.S. they are prevalent. County government in New England states is typically weak at best, and in some states nonexistent. Connecticut, for example, has no county governments, nor does Rhode Island. Both of those states retain counties only as geographic subdivisions with no governmental authority, while Massachusetts has abolished eight of fourteen county governments so far. Counties serve mostly as dividing lines for the states' judicial systems in the southern New England states, while only providing limited services in the three northern New England states.
In the United States, the meaning of "village" varies by geographic area and legal jurisdiction. In many areas, "village" is a term, sometimes informal, for a type of administrative division at the local government level. Since the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the federal government from legislating on local government, the states are free to have political subdivisions called "villages" or not to and to define the word in many ways. Typically, a village is a type of municipality, although it can also be a special district or an unincorporated area. It may or may not be recognized for governmental purposes.
The administrative divisions of Illinois are counties, townships, precincts, cities, towns, villages, and special-purpose districts. The basic subdivisions of Illinois are the 102 counties. Illinois has more units of local government than any other state—over 8,000 in all. The Constitution of 1970 created, for the first time in Illinois, a type of "home rule", which allows localities to govern themselves to a certain extent. Illinois also has several types of school districts and additional units of government that oversee many other functions.