Q May the county assist a local church in the construction of a basketball court on church property that will be used by the citizens of that community?

A No. There is no statutory authority for the proposed work, and the home rule authority under Section 19-3-40 prohibits donations unless specifically authorized. Note that Section 55-9-1 would authorize a county to lease private property and spend funds or use equipment to renovate the leased property for a public park or recreational center, which may include a basketball court, taking into consideration the duration of the lease and the amount of rental paid, if the improvements are not so extensive as to constitute a donation to the owner. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Harris, October 13, 2017)