Counties of Croatia: Bjelovar-Bilogora Brod-Posavina Dubrovnik-Neretva Istria Karlovac Koprivnica-Križevci Krapina-Zagorje Lika-Senj Međimurje Osijek-Baranja Požega-Slavonia Primorje-Gorski Kotar Šibenik-Knin Sisak-Moslavina Split-Dalmatia Varaždin Virovitica-Podravina Vukovar-Srijem Zadar City of Zagreb Zagreb County
The counties are funded by the central government, as well as from county-owned businesses, county taxes and county fees. County taxes include a five percent inheritance and gift tax, a motor vehicle tax, a vessel tax and an arcade game machine tax. The counties are tasked with performing general public administration services, primary and secondary education, government funded healthcare, social welfare, administration pertaining to agriculture, forestry, hunting, fisheries, mining, industry and construction, as well as road transport infrastructure management and other services to the economy, at the county level; the central government and local (city and municipal) governments may also perform each of those tasks at their respective levels. The Croatian County Association was set up in 2003 as a framework for inter-county cooperation.
The Croatian (singular) term županija was originally applied to territory controlled by a župan (official title). Since the 12th century, the counties have also been referred to by the Latin term comitatus.
Croatia was first subdivided into counties in the Middle Ages. Counties were first introduced in Croatia during the House of Trpimirović's rule. The exact number and borders of these early counties are difficult to determine accurately; they were considered to encompass areas subordinated to a single centre of local authority, but the possessions of significant nobles had a legal status separate from local authority.
The following eleven are usually listed as the oldest counties of Croatia, dating back to the 10th century:
Sidraga (in the area between Bribir County and Zadar)
Nina or Luka (between Knin, Nona, Sidraga and Bribir counties)
In the same period, the counties in Pannonian Croatia (north of Gvozd Mountain) are poorly documented. It is generally thought that the Pannonian counties were directly subject to the Croatian monarchy, unlike the southern counties controlled by nobles.
The county number, extent and authority have varied significantly, reflecting: changes in the monarchial and noble relative influences; Ottoman conquest and Croatian recapture of various territories; and societal and political changes through several centuries. In the 13th and 14th century, the Croatian nobility grew stronger and the counties defined by the king were reduced to a legislative framework, while military and financial power was concentrated in the feudal lords. Other forms of administration that overlapped with county administration in this period included the Roman Catholic Church and the free royal cities, and separately the cities of Dalmatia. After Croatia became a crown land of the Habsburg Monarchy in 1527, the importance of counties faded even further, but was gradually restored after 1760.
In the 19th century, the Revolutions of 1848 in the Habsburg areas brought upon numerous political changes and introduced a civic government of the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia as part of Austria-Hungary, which in turn proceeded to absorb the Croatian and Slavonian Military Frontiers in 1881. The last major reorganisation of the counties was in 1886, when eight counties were established within the kingdom. This layout largely remained in effect until the Croatian counties were abolished in 1922, while some minor adjustments of county boundaries happened in 1913. The counties were set up as self-governmental units in contrast to earlier county incarnations since the Middle Ages. Each had an assembly with the wealthiest taxpayers comprising half the assembly members and elected members comprising the remaining half.
The traditional division of Croatia into counties was abolished in 1922, when the oblasts of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes were introduced; these were later replaced by the banovinas of Yugoslavia.Communist-ruled Croatia, as a constituent part of post-World War II Yugoslavia, organised Croatia into approximately 100 municipalities. The counties were reintroduced in 1992, but with significant territorial alterations from the pre-1922 subdivisions; for instance, before 1922 Transleithanian Croatia was divided into eight counties, but the new legislation established fourteen counties in the same territory. Međimurje County was established in the eponymous region acquired through the 1920 Treaty of Trianon. The county borders have sometimes changed since their 1992 restoration (for reasons such as historical ties and requests by cities); the latest revision took place in 2006.