Plunging Home Prices Fuel Property Tax Appeals Swamping U.S. Cities, Towns

December 8, 2010 18:21

“The full weight of the decline in housing values has yet to hit the budgets of many cities and property tax revenues will likely decline further in 2011 and 2012,” the report said.

By Jeff Green and Tim Jones – Dec 8, 2010 at


A fiscal flood that threatens to swamp local government budgets across the U.S. overflows from file cabinets in the office of Patty Halm, chair of the Michigan Tax Tribunal.

From Los Angeles to Atlantic City, the New Jersey gambling resort whose credit rating Moody’s Investors Service cut by three levels last month, property owners are demanding lower taxes after real-estate values plunged. The disputes over billions in dollars come as municipalities are already slashing services such as police and fire protection and may depress revenue further as communities try to recover from the longest recession since the 1930s.

“If we look into the future, assessments will have to reflect the market value, and two years out, property-tax receipts will have to be coming down,” Michael Pagano, dean of the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said in a telephone interview.


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