Slumping cities face service cuts, layoffs — and even bankruptcy

Discussion in 'Media' started by hvactec, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. hvactec
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    hvactec VIP Member

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    The last person to leave Highland Park, Mich., will soon have fewer lights to turn out.

    Officials with the private electric utility there have started to repossess 1,400 street lights and poles. The city — facing a severe budget crunch — owed the company $4 million, a debt the company canceled in exchange for taking its lights back.

    At least Highland Park is still solvent.

    This week city officials in Harrisburg, Pa. — the state’s capital — decided to seek bankruptcy protection, in part because the city is on the hook for millions of dollars used to rebuild a power-generating trash incinerator.

    Municipal bankruptcy and repossession are extreme cases, but no longer unheard of in America.

    From Rhode Island to California, hundreds of city governments — after staggering through three years of national economic doldrums — are ending this year facing even more layoffs, unpaid furloughs and service cuts to balance their out-of-whack budgets.

    “The effects of depressed real estate markets, low levels of consumer confidence and high levels of unemployment will continue to play out in cities through 2011, 2012 and beyond,” concluded a September report by the National League of Cities, calling depressed city budgets and worker layoffs a “new normal.”

    Nancy McCarthy Snyder, an urban affairs professor at Wichita State University, said cities are now hitting the bottom of the recessionary slump in part because lower property values have finally worked their way into the system.

    And lower property values mean lower property tax collections.

    “Cities are facing a whole mix of issues that are coming to roost all at once,” Snyder said, including the end of federal stimulus spending.

    read more Slumping cities face service cuts, layoffs — and even bankruptcy - KansasCity.com
     
  2. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    And people here STILL cannot figure out why income inequity, FREE TRADE, and absurdly unfair taxation is a problem for them.

    Must be sort of nice to be so simple-minded, as that.
     
  3. blastoff
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    blastoff Undocumented Reg. User

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    "Nancy McCarthy Snyder, an urban affairs professor at Wichita State University, said cities are now hitting the bottom of the recessionary slump in part because lower property values have finally worked their way into the system."

    Yeah, I'll bet these cities were in real good financial shape before home prices fell. I'm sure they all had balanced budgets for years, never spending more than they took in or got from state or federal governments. I'd bet anything I don't own on it.
     

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