(a) The Legislature finds that:
(1) The fiscal viability of municipal and county governments is challenged by changing demographics and tax bases;
(2) With many local governments there is significant duplicity of services;
(3) Certain local governments are at their taxable limits and yet are facing fee increases to remain financially viable; and
(4) Local governments should perform at the highest level of efficiency and economy while providing the highest standards of governmental services to their citizens.
(b) The Legislature finds that consolidation of local governments:
(1) Is in the public interest;
(2) Would help promote economic growth and development;
(3) Would help local governments provide more efficient local services and more effective public administration; and
(4) Would keep local governments viable and provide more governing flexibility.
(c) Therefore, in order to attain high standards of efficiency, economy, service and flexibility and to assure the ongoing improvement in the quality of life of all citizens of the state, the Legislature hereby encourages and permits all local governments to consolidate part or all of their governmental and corporate functions.