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Chapter 1

Table of government responsibilities by level

FederalThe President
Cabinet agencies and independent agencies 

Collect federal income taxes
Oversee immigration and passports
Fund major benefits programs; administer Social Security
Oversee veterans’ services
Make regulations 
Manage national Parks
House of Representatives

Passes laws (which supersede and constrain state laws) 
Oversees the federal budget, including setting income and business tax rates
Supreme Court: decides appeals from other federal courts or state supreme courts
Federal district and appeals courts: deal with federal crimes, immigration, bankruptcy
State cabinet agencies

Voter registration
Driver and vehicle licensing
State income taxes
Business registration
Professional licensing
State Parks
Fishing and hunting licenses
Highway patrol
One or two-house state legislature
Passes laws (if these contradict federal law that can generate a Supreme Court case)
Administers state budget
Sets state income and/or sales taxes 
State supreme court
State courts of appeals
Some states have separate lower courts for family law
CountyCounty executive
Birth, death, and marriage records
Administration of state programs
Election administration (mostly)
Transit and roads
County Council or Board of Supervisors
County budget
Local statutes concerning land use, property matters, and alcohol sales (for example)

Superior courts (technically part of state court systems)
Most felonies must be tried in superior court
Many family law matters and minor lawsuits are handled here
City or TownMayor, sometimes sharing power with an appointed City Manager 
Local police
Building permitting
Parking and traffic
Schools (usually with a separate elected board)
City Council
City budget
Local ordinances
Local property and sales taxes
Municipal courts (but not everywhere)
Misdemeanor offenses and infractions like traffic tickets