In Georgia, unlike most states with large cities, the county is still the center of political and cultural life for a majority of the state's residents. Dade County, created in 1837, is the 91st of Georgia's 159 counties.

State Programs & Policies

County governments carry out a variety of state programs and policies, including:

  • Collecting Taxes
  • Conducting Courts of Law
  • Filing Official Records
  • Maintaining Roads
  • Overseeing Elections
  • Providing for the Welfare of Their Residents

County Services

County services have expanded over the years to meet the growing demands of residents. Every county provides the following:

  • Administers Welfare and Public Assistance Programs
  • Builds and Repairs County Roads
  • Conducts Local Courts of Law, Voter Registration, and Elections
  • Files Official Records of Property Ownership
  • Probates Wills
  • Sells Motor Vehicle Tags

The 1983 Constitution added supplementary powers to this list of county duties. Counties are allowed to provide:

  • Air Quality Control
  • Codes, Including Building, Housing, Plumbing, and Electrical Codes
  • Garbage and Solid Waste Collection and Disposal
  • Libraries, Archives, and Arts / Sciences Programs and Facilities
  • Parks, Recreational Areas, Facilities, and Programs
  • Planning and Zoning
  • Police and Fire Protection
  • Public Health Facilities and Services, Including Ambulances, Emergency Rescue, and Animal Control
  • Public Housing
  • Public Transportation
  • Storm Water and Sewage Collection and Disposal Systems
  • Street and Road Construction, Including Curbs and Sidewalks
  • Water Utilities

Improve & Maintain

These supplementary powers address the demands of Georgia's residents to improve and maintain the state's quality of life. Cities and towns have long offered these services, but they were seldom seen outside the urban environment. As Georgia's population has grown, so too has the number of residents who want city like services. According to the 2000 census, approximately 67% of Georgians live outside a city, and many expect the same quality of life as their city-dwelling friends and relatives.