Administrative divisions of New York (state)

The administrative divisions of New York are the various units of government that provide local services in the State of New York. The state is divided into boroughs, counties, cities, townships called "towns", and villages. (The only boroughs, the five boroughs of New York City, have the same boundaries as their respective counties.) They are municipal corporations, chartered (created) by the New York State Legislature, as under the New York Constitution the only body that can create governmental units is the state. All of them have their own governments, sometimes with no paid employees, that provide local services.[1] Centers of population that are not incorporated and have no government or local services are designated hamlets. Whether a municipality is defined as a borough, city, town, or village is determined not by population or land area, but rather on the form of government selected by the residents and approved by the New York Legislature.[2][3][4] Each type of local government is granted specific home rule powers by the New York State Constitution.[5] There are still occasional changes as a village becomes a city, or a village dissolves (stops existing), each of which requires legislative action. New York also has various corporate entities that provide local services and have their own administrative structures (governments), such as school and fire districts.[5] These are not found in all counties. Except for its 10 Indian Reservations[6] and the City of New York, every piece of land in the State is part of a city or town, which, with the exception of the city of Geneva, is part of one and only one county. Not every piece is in a village or city. A village is part of a town; cities are not part of towns, but have the powers of towns. A village can be a part of more than one town. A village cannot be part of a city.

Separate municipal buildings for the town and village of Monroe in Orange County

Services which must be available everywhere—education, road maintenance, snow removal—are ultimately the responsibility of towns or cities, although cooperative agreements are not unusual. In the more rural counties, local services may be provided on a county-wide basis.

As of 2009, New York has 62 counties[7][8] (including New York City's five boroughs), which are subdivided into 933 towns[4] and 61 cities (including Geneva in both Ontario and Seneca counties, but excluding New York City and Sherrill).[3] In total, the state has more than 3,400 active local governments and more than 4,200 taxing jurisdictions.[9][10]


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