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Counties in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania counties are usually governed by a three county commissioners board who are elected every 4 years by the residents of that county. This board oversees the county operations and services and looks out for the citizens that county. There are other elected officers performing roles such as treasurer, coroner, the recorder and the controller, the prothonotary, the clerk of courts and the district attorney. Each county is responsible for public records such as adoption, real estate documents, marriage licenses, and court case files and records. Counties in Pennsylvania elect officials, based on their class.

Some counties follow "home rule" form of governance. These include: Allegheny, Delaware, Erie, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Northampton and Philadelphia.


Counties are responsible for certain functions such as:

Justice Related Activities and Corrections

Magisterial and The Court of Common Pleas are managed by each county. Magisterial courts oversee criminal cases and small claims cases including traffic tickets. Corrections include probational facilities, the county prison and juvenile detention centers.

Environmental Planning and Community Redevelopment

Counties are responsible in community development, this helps create new jobs, and boost economy as well as other services such as transporation, roads and other relocations. They do protect the environment, water management, waste management and land use planning.

Public Health and Safety

Each county has to administer for emergencies and make services available to protect its citizens, including 911 emergency srevices, ambulance and fire fighting services in addition to other protective services such as sheriffs who serve processes and transport prisioners beside other safety services.

Human and Children Services

Counties in Pennsylvania are responsible for programs for protection of children and youth as well disability and mental health services.


Registration of voters, and election services are another area where counties in Pennsylvania have administrative responsibilities.

Real Estate Tax Assessment and Collection

Each county is reponsible for assessment and administration of real estate taxes.

If you are searching for information in Pennsylvania county select from links below for each county in Pennsylvania.

Search Pennsylvania Counties