joint powers agreement

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Joint powers agreements are contracts between two or more public agencies - such as a city, county, school district, or special district (e.g., a municipal utilities authority) - which allows the agencies to cooperatively provide services or exercise shared powers outside each agency’s normal jurisdiction. The agreement may allow one agency to administer a service on behalf of another agency, or it can create an independent agency that operates on behalf of all the member agencies. A joint powers agreement only authorizes an agency to exercise a legal power that is common to all the contracting parties. California and Minnesota are two states that provide for the use of joint powers agreements.

[Last updated in July of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]