Welcome to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs

Definition of Authority Terms

City/County: This search option identifies all authorities of which a selected city or county is a member.

Service Delivery Regions:  In 1998 the General Assembly created 12 Service Delivery Regions in Georgia (click HERE for more information). This search option identifies all authorities of which any city or county in a selected Service Delivery Region is a member. 

Type of Authority: This search option identifies all authorities created for a type of purpose or type of service (e.g., as downtown development, housing, recreation, hospital, etc.).

Method of Creation: This search option identifies authorities by method of creation. Local government authorities can be created in one of three ways in Georgia:

  1. General Enabling Act – There are eleven type of authorities that can be created by general enabling act. These laws authorize cities or counties, under certain conditions, to create an authority by ordinance or resolution. The eleven types of authorities which may be created in this way, along with applicable Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) citations, are as follows:

    Type of AuthorityOCGA Cite
    Development Authority36-62-1
    Downtown Development Authority36-42-1
    Hospital Authority31-7-70
    Joint Development Authority36-62-1
    Land Bank Authority48-4-61
    Recreation Authority36-64-1
    Regional Jail Authority42-4-90
    Regional Solid Waste Management Authority12-8-50
    Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly Authority31-7-110
    Resource Recovery Development Authority36-63-1
    Urban Residential Finance Authority36-41-1
    Urban Redevelopment Authority36-61-18

    It should be noted that some development authorities were not created under the general enabling act, but were created under local law or constitutional amendment. Additionally, several jurisdictions have multiple development authorities with similar names created by different methods. Each of these authorities must be registered separately.

  2. Local Law – Some authorities are created by a special piece of legislation which creates a single, unique local government authority. Unlike the general enabling law, the local law creates a specific local government authority, such as the Fayette County Water Authority, and specifies its powers.
  3. Local Constitutional Amendment – Some authorities were created by special Constitutional Amendment. These are similar to local laws, except that they are actually in the State Constitution and as such had to be approved by the voters of the locality. These authorities had to be continued in order to remain in force under the current Constitution. Changes in law no longer allow local government authorities to be created through Constitutional Amendment; however, there are several existing authorities that were created under this method in the past.

Dependency: This search option identifies all authorities operating dependently or independently of a city or county government, or all independent authorities. If an authority’s financial activities are included in the financial statements of a city or county, they are classified dependent. All other authorities are classified as independent.

Single or Multi-Jurisdiction: This search option identifies all authorities that have more than one city or county member jurisdiction, or all authorities having only one member jurisdiction. For example, all joint development authorities are multi-jurisdictional authorities

Registered Authorities Search Page