Concurrent powers are those powers that are exercised by both federal and state governments simultaneously. Collecting taxes, establishing courts, enforcing laws, borrowing money, and providing for the general welfare of American citizens are examples of the concurrent powers in the Constitution of the United States.


The principle of concurrent powers exists to provide governing bodies with the opportunity to keep the population safe, support the economy, prevent criminal behaviors, etc.

In the United States, authority is divided between the federal and state governments. According to the US Constitution, Congress possesses enumerated powers that include maintaining the army, declaring war, and coining money.

Also known as exclusive powers, these refer to issues that are of significance for the whole nation, and therefore fall into the domain of the federal government. Consequently, issuing currency is not an example of a concurrent power because it is solely delegated to the federal government.

At the same time, affairs at a local level are also essential for the country, but are not dependent upon Congress for their regulation. State governments exercise these reserved powers when they discuss and regulate issues like protecting the environment, regulating trade within a state, and establishing local governments. These aspects are considered on a state level to facilitate prompt decisions and actions.

In addition, some powers of federal and state governments overlap. Sometimes, both Congress and the state governing bodies exercise the same powers simultaneously and in relation to the same individuals. These are concurrent powers, which are significantly different from both exclusive and reserved powers.

As has been mentioned, imposing taxes, borrowing money, establishing courts, enforcing laws, and contributing to public welfare are examples of the concurrent powers of the federal government and state administration bodies.

This means that US citizens have to pay both federal and state taxes. While many individuals dislike contributing part of their income to both the federal and state systems, the Constitution stipulates that every governmental body needs funds to provide its services to the population.

The existence of concurrent powers is justified by the principle of federalism that governs the USA. Since the nation distinguishes between the federal and state levels, it is not a surprise that representatives of these levels act independently of each other in some cases. While each deals with various areas of responsibility, they find similar ways to overcome any challenges that arise.

Federalism in the United States has resulted in a system in which federal and state governing bodies have both unique and shared powers. The latter group is represented by the concurrent powers that provide both federal and state governments with the necessary resources and authority to perform their functions.

Consequently, this phenomenon means that governing bodies of both levels exercise some powers simultaneously. Even though many people consider it unfair that they must pay taxes twice, the Constitution stipulates that funding both federal and state governments is necessary for the wellbeing of the population.