In this piece, we examine county fiscal capacity—the ability of counties to respond to these needs. First, we describe the county-state relationship and discuss our framework for identifying variations in county fiscal capacity. Second, we provide our findings regarding the fiscal capacity of counties, and discuss some of the counties which rate below average in this regard. Third, we identify the primary factors that contribute to low fiscal capacity. Finally, we offer several alternatives that the Legislature may wish to use to improve the fiscal capacity of California's counties.