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From the Reference Desk...

This blog provides links to current resources to help you find what is new and noteworthy in the state of Kansas. State Library staff will highlight a topic of specific interest and supply links to important news and services in the state of Kansas.

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Jun 02

What are counties?

Posted on June 2, 2016 at 10:51 AM by Brian Herder

All of us know what county we live in, and that it's some sort of government, and definitely it involves taxes. But what are counties, anyway?

The Kansas state government is sovereign in Kansas, but carrying out local government functions from Topeka would be difficult, and Americans typically prefer local government to take care of local issues.

Kansas law defines what a Kansas county is in KSA 19-101.  The state of Kansas legally defines 105 geographic counties to govern local issues and enforce state law locally. Counties' powers are specifically prescribed by the state, as well as their bureaucratic structure.

Kansas counties have their own "capital city", known as the county seat.   

Kansas law addressing counties can be found in the Kansas Statutes under Chapter 18 - Counties and Chapter 19 - Counties and County Officers.