Writing of the Declaration of Independence

Unfunded Mandate


An unfunded mandate is a statute or regulation passed by a higher level of government that requires a lower level of government, public individual, or organization to perform a task(s) but without providing the necessary funding to cover the cost of carrying out the task(s).  




The city council was furious because both congress and their state legislature were constantly requiring them to participate in new programs and then not covering the costs of funding the programs. They were tired of having to raise taxes to cover the costs of unfunded mandates that they did not even support because state and federal legislators didn’t want to look like the bad guys and raise taxes to cover the costs for their own programs. Their constituents blamed them for the increased taxes when they had no choice but to raise taxes as the only way that they could afford to cover the costs with their current tax revenue would be to close down several schools.