Counties in Arkansas

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Counties in the United States

Counties by State
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Arkansas has 75 counties.[1]

Types of local government

Arkansas' local governments fall into the following categories:

  • Counties: there are 75 counties in Arkansas.
  • Municipalities: there are 501 municipalities in Arkansas. They are generally classified by increasing population as "incorporated towns," "cities of the second class," and "cities of the first class." In certain circumstances, cities may raise their classification by one level through a referendum vote (in the case of towns) or a local ordinance (in the case of second class cities). State statutes provide for municipal charters, but no cities have yet adopted one.[2]
  • In addition, there are 727 special districts and 239 independent school districts.[3]


County politics

Each of the 75 counties has a county judge, who serves as the chief executive officer of the county. Counties have several other countywide officeholders, including a quorum court (legislative body) that is made up of justices of the peace elected from single-member districts.

Services that Arkansas counties are required to provide are:

  • The administration of justice through the courts.
  • Law enforcement and operation of the county's jail.
  • Real and personal property tax administration, including assessments, collection and custody of tax proceeds.
  • Court and public records management.
  • Required services as prescribed by state law provided through the various elected county officers or departments of county government such as providing and managing a county road system, elections and financial management.[4]

Executive officers

Each county elects nine executive officers and a countywide legislative body called the quorum court.

The nine elected officials are:

  • County judge
  • County sheriff
  • County clerk
  • Circuit clerk
  • County collector
  • County assessor
  • County treasurer
  • County coroner
  • County surveyor (not all counties do elect a surveyor)

Some offices can be combined into one. County clerk/circuit clerk, sheriff/collector and treasurer/collector are some common combinations.

Quorum court

The legislative body of each county is called a quorum court. It is composed of nine, 11, 13 or 15 members, depending on the county's population, who are referred to as justices of the peace and are elected by district.

The quorum court has these duties:

  • Levy of taxes in manner prescribed by law.
  • Appropriate public funds for the expenses of the county in a manner prescribed by ordinance.
  • Preserve the peace and order and secure freedom from dangerous or noxious activities; provided, however, that no act may be declared a felony.
  • For any public purpose, contract, or join with another county, or with any political subdivision or with the United States.
  • Create, consolidate, separate, revise, or abandon any elected office or offices except during the term thereof; provided, however, that a majority of those voting on the question at a general election have approved said action.
  • Fix the number and compensation of deputies and county employees.
  • Fix the compensation of each county officer with a minimum and maximum to be determined by law.
  • Fill vacancies in elected county offices.
  • Provide for any service or performance of any function relating to county affairs.
  • Exercise other powers, not inconsistent with law, necessary for effective administration of authorized services and functions.

Initiative process availability

See also: Laws governing local ballot measures in Arkansas

Counties

All of Arkansas' 75 counties have an initiative process for ordinances.[5]

Municipalities

All of Arkansas' 501 municipalities have an initiative process for ordinances. Though none have yet been established, any future charter cities would have charter amendment by initiative.[5][6]

County website evaluations

See also: Evaluation of Arkansas county websites

As of 2009:

  • Only one of the 75 counties posts budget information online, (Benton.)
  • Six counties include information on their websites about public government meetings.
  • 24 include information about the county's elected officials.
  • 14 include information about the county's administrative officials.
  • 2 counties give information about permits and zoning in the county.
  • None of the counties publish information online about audits that the county government has had performed.
  • No counties give information about contracts with county vendors.
  • No county websites disclose whether the county belongs to any government sector lobbying associations.
  • No counties provide information on how to request public records using the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.
  • Six county websites provide some information about county taxes.

Counties without websites

As of January 2009, 49 of Arkansas's 75 counties had no website.

List of counties

Arkansas counties
Name County seat
Arkansas County De Witt
Ashley County Hamburg
Baxter County Mountain Home
Benton County Bentonville
Boone County Harrison
Bradley County Warren
Calhoun County Hampton
Carroll County Berryville
Chicot County Lake Village
Clark County Arkadelphia
Clay County Piggott
Cleburne County Herber Springs
Cleveland County Rison
Columbia County Magnolia
Conway County Morrilton
Craighead County Lake City
Crawford County Van Buren
Crittenden County Marion
Cross County Wynne
Dallas County Fordyce
Desha County Arkansas
Drew County Monticello
Faulkner County Conway
Franklin County Charleston
Fulton County Salem
Garland County Hot Springs
Grant County Sheridan
Greene County Paragould
Hempstead County Hope
Hot Spring County Malvern
Howard County Nashville
Independence County Batesville
Izard County Melbourne
Jackson County Newport
Jefferson County Pine Bluff
Johnson County Clarksville
Lafayette County Lewisville
Lawrence County Walnut Ridge
Lee County Marianna
Lincoln County Star City
Little River County Ashdown
Logan County Booneville
Lonoke County Lonoke
Madison County Huntsville
Marion County Yellville
Miller County Texarkana
Mississippi Blytheville
Monroe County Clarendon
Montgomery County Mount Ida
Nevada County Prescott
Newton County Jasper
Ouachita County Camden
Perry County Perryville
Phillips County Helena-West Helena
Pike County Murfreesboro
Poinsett County Harrisburg
Polk County Mena
Pope County Russellville
Prairie County Des Arc
Pulaski County Little Rock
Randolph County Pocahontas
St. Francis County Forrest City
Saline County Benton
Scott County Waldron
Searcy County Marshall
Sebastian County Greenwood
Sevier County De Queen
Sharp County Ash Flat
Stone County Mountain View
Union County El Dorado
Van Buren County Clinton
Washington County Fayetteville
White County Searcy
Woodruff County Augusta
Yell County Dardanelle

External links

References