WASHINGTON -- Like Peter Finch in the movie "Network," counties are mad as hell, and they aren't going to take it anymore.

The "it" is unfunded federal mandates, a sore spot for almost all levels of municipal government. But these mandates are an open wound for counties, which find their revenue needs increasing at the same time their traditional revenue source -- the property tax -- is faltering because of tax revolts, legal limitations, and declining property values.

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