Washington Post: Cities Felt Recession’s Challenges Well After Recovery Began
The economy began exiting the worst global downturn in generations in the summer of 2009, but for America’s largest cities, the fiscal pain was only beginning — and many cities still haven’t recovered to pre-recession levels.
Lagging tax revenues and slumping property values brought on by the housing bubble forced cities to dip into reserve funds, raise taxes elsewhere, float hundreds of millions of dollars in new debt, and beg states and the federal government to cover their costs.
A new report from The Pew Charitable Trusts shows 17 of the nation’s 30 largest cities now carry millions of dollars in debt than they did before the recession. By 2011, 16 cities had not returned to 2007 revenue levels.
“What became apparent [during the recession] was how little discretion cities actually have. They don’t control the business cycle, they don’t have any near or midterm say over the composition of their industrial base,” said Kil Huh, an author of the study and research director at The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Read the full article at washingtonpost.com.
- American Cities Project