UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

September 2, 2009

CITIES HURTING BADLY

CNN - More than nine out of 10 cities are slashing spending this year as the recession wreaks havoc on their sales and income tax revenue, a new study found. And the future looks even worse, as the housing market's steep declines continue cutting into property tax revenue, according to the National League of Cities, which issued the update on city fiscal conditions Tuesday. City finance officers' pessimism is running at its highest level in the history of the group's 24-year survey. The economic situation on the local level has grown more dire in the seven months since the group released its last report. . . To combat declining revenues, 62% of cities are delaying or canceling infrastructure projects, the study found. That's a 20 percentage point increase from the league's February status report. Some two-thirds of cities are laying off workers or instituting hiring freezes, roughly the same figure as reported earlier this year. . . Some 45% of cities have increased fees for services, while 25% have upped property taxes. More than one in four have added fees.

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