Services provided by local government include education, culture, health, social welfare, road maintenance, public parks, water, and sanitation. Each local authority functions through by-laws complementing national laws, which have been approved by the Ministry of the Interior. Some authorities operate special courts in which transgressors of local by-laws are tried. Financing for local authorities comes from local taxes, as well as allocations from the state budget. Every authority has a comptroller who prepares an annual report.
The law recognizes three types of local authorities: municipalities, which provide the framework for urban centers with populations of over 20,000; local councils, which manage towns with populations of between 2,000 and 20,000; and regional councils, which are responsible for several villages grouped within a certain radius.
Each local authority is administered by a mayor or chairperson and a council. The number of council members is determined by the Ministry of the Interior, according to the authority's population. Currently there are 73 municipalities, 124 local councils and 54 regional councils.
All municipalities and local councils are united, on a voluntary basis, in a central body, the Union of Local Authorities, which represents them before the government, monitors relevant legislation in the Knesset and provides guidance on issues such as work agreements and legal affairs. Affiliated with the International Association of Municipalities, the union maintains ties with similar organizations throughout the world, and arranges twin cities programs and exchanges of international delegations.
- Israeli municipalities and local government on Internet