The Local Squeeze
Falling Revenues and Growing Demand for Services Challenge Cities, Counties, and School Districts
Quick SummaryState aid and property taxes are dropping simultaneously for the first time since 1980, while demand for government services continues to rise. More tough choices lie ahead as leaders look to balance the day-to-day needs of their communities with their long-term prospects.
While states slowly recover in the wake of the Great Recession, local governments have been hit with a one-two punch: State aid and property taxes, which together account for more than half of local revenues, are dropping simultaneously for the first time since 1980. The blow comes as demand for government services rises, driven by stubborn unemployment rates, population growth, and other factors.
State aid funds nearly a third of local government budgets on average. It fell by $12.6 billion, or 2.6 percent, in fiscal year 2010, the most recent year for which comparative data are available.[i] This trend has continued, with 26 states reporting cuts for fiscal year 2011 and 18 doing so thus far for 2012.[ii] Some cities, counties, and school districts are fighting back with lawsuits. Before 2010, state funding was covering a smaller share of local localities’ growing expenses, falling from 33 percent in 2000 to 30 percent in 2009.
Property taxes, which amount to 29 percent of local government revenues, also are shrinking, reflecting the drop in real estate prices during the recession. In 2010, property tax revenues were $11.9 billion, or 2.5 percent, lower than the year before, the first annual decline since the mid-1990s and the largest in decades. They fell again in 2011, by another 3.1 percent, or $14.6 billion, and are expected to decrease further in 2012 and 2013.[iii] This is different from past economic downturns, when home values and property tax revenues remained relatively stable.
Diving Deeper: The American Cities Project
Like all local governments, the nation’s largest cities are facing heightened fiscal stress and often have to do more with less to meet residents’ needs. In the coming months, Pew's American Cities Project will explore how economic trends, demographic shifts, and changes in service delivery are affecting 30 major cities. The project will help policy makers understand shared challenges and promising approaches. For more information, visit pewstates.org/cities.
The Local Squeeze
Some localities have raised taxes and fees to try to generate more revenues. But most have tackled budget pressures by reducing spending. Policy makers have increased class sizes and shortened school days; cut a wide range of services, from public safety to trash collection; and privatized or consolidated certain functions, such as maintaining parks and handling 911 calls. They also have eliminated public sector jobs, shedding half a million employees, or more than 3 percent of the local government workforce, since September 2008 through layoffs and attrition. Half of those were teachers and other school administrators or staff members.[iv]
The local squeeze will be felt for years to come. The nation’s ongoing housing crisis and fragile economic recovery, the likelihood of additional cuts in federal and state aid, and greater demand for services all presage a rough road ahead for local governments.
[i] All data in real, inflation-adjusted terms. According to U.S. Census definitions, federal funds passed through states to localities are considered intergovernmental revenue or “state aid” to local governments. Any federal funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) passed to localities through states are captured in this intergovernmental revenue data. Between 1987 and 2009, federal grants that did not pass through the state, but that flowed directly to localities, made up an additional 3 to 4 percent of local expenditures. Pew Center on the States analysis of U.S. Census Bureau “Annual Survey of State Government Finances.”
[ii] Pew Center on the States analyzed survey responses from state legislative and governor’s offices on whether the state cut local assistance. The two sources did not always coincide, possibly due to definitional differences or reporting discrepancies between the offices. Pew reported a cut if either the legislative or governor’s office reported a cut. National Conference of State Legislatures Survey of Legislative Budget Offices, March 2011; National Governors Association and National Association of State Budget Officers, The Fiscal Survey of States, Fall 2010 and 2011.
[iii] Property tax receipts in 2010 and 2011 decreased in nominal terms as well, by $4.8 billion and $529 million respectively. 2010 was the first decline in nominal terms since 1979. All years are fiscal years. Pew Center on the States analysis of U.S. Census Quarterly State and Local Tax Survey; National League of Cities, Cities Cut Jobs and Infrastructure as Finances Continue to Weaken, September 27, 2011.
[iv] Pew Center on the States analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics National Employment, Hours, and Earnings Database. Seasonally adjusted local employment has fallen from 14.6 million in September 2008 to 14.1 million in December 2011.
A Drop in Key Revenues
[i] The cut was applied to fiscal years 2011 and 2012, but with 2011 already under way, the change effectively altered the 2012 budget cycle. City of Cleveland, “State Imposes Budget Deficit on City of Cleveland,” May 16, 2011; City of Cleveland, “2011 Budget Book,” March 28, 2011, page 16.
[ii] City of Cleveland, “State Imposes Budget Deficit on City of Cleveland,” May 16, 2011; Tracy Carloss, “Cleveland mayor says all departments affected by city layoffs,” Newsnet5, May 16, 2011.
[iii] Lisa Allmendinger, “Saline School Board approves ‘structurally deficient’ $51.5 million operating budget for 2011 – 2012,” AnnArbor.com, June 29, 2011.
[iv] In 2011, more than 5 percent of homeowners in the Stockton Metro Area filed for foreclosure. “2011 Year-End Foreclosure Report: Foreclosures on the Retreat,” RealtyTrac, January 9, 2012; Alison Vekshin, “Stockton Going Broke Shows Cop Pay Rising as Property Collapsed,” San Francisco Chronicle, March 8, 2012.
[v] City of Stockton Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, June 30, 2010, page 188–189.
[vi] Pew Center on the States analyzed historical trends in property tax receipts and intergovernmental transfers from states to localities. Adjusting for inflation, at least one of these revenues grew each year from 1981 to 2009. Census State Government Finance Database, the U.S. Census State and Local Government Finance Database, and the U.S. Census Quarterly Tax Survey.
[vii] Pew Center on the States analysis of U.S. Census State and Local Government Finance Database.
[i] U.S. Census Bureau, “Local Governments and Public School Systems by Type and State,” 2007.
[ii] Christopher Hoene and Michael A. Pagano, “Cities & State Fiscal Structure,” Research Report on America’s Cities, National League of Cities, 2008.
[iii] Lucy Dadayan, “Tax Revenues Surpass Previous Peak But Growth Softens Once Again,” The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, State Revenue Report, April 2012.
[iv] Pew Center on the States analysis of U.S. Census data on Historical State Tax Collections by State; National Conference of State Legislatures, State Budget Update, Fall 2011, page 1.
[v] Rob Gurwitt, “As states cut aid, localities learn to do less with less,” Stateline, October 3, 2011.
[vi] U.S. Census Bureau State and Local Government Finance Database.
[vii] Pew Center on the States analysis of U.S. Census State Government Finance Database. For many reasons, comparing transfers from the state to localities is challenging. Constitutional requirements regarding K–12 education funding, state mandates for certain social services and statutory oversight of local fiscal stress all vary across states. Additionally, states may have different relationships depending on the type of locality, as cities, counties, and school districts are often engaged in very different functions.
[viii] City of Phoenix Arizona, Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, 2011, page 218; Jay Weiner, “Even small cuts in state aid can cause big problems for Minnesota’s small towns and counties,” MinnPost, October 27, 2010.
[ix] State aid declined by $574 million in Arizona, $5,715 million in California, $927 million in Minnesota, $498 million in New Mexico, $214 million in Nevada, $2,199 million in Texas, $1,016 million in Virginia, and $185 million in Wyoming. All amounts are in 2010 dollars. Pew Center on the States analysis of U.S. Census State Government Finance Database.
[x] Phil Oliff, and Michael Leachman, “New School Year Brings Steep Cuts in State Funding for Schools,” report by Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, October 7, 2011.
[xi] As a result, aid from the state in Florida went from covering 27 percent of local expenditures in 2000 to just 19 percent in 2009. Pew Center on the States analysis of U.S. Census State and Local Government Finance Database.
[xii] In 2000, transfers from states to localities totaled $327 billion, compared to local expenditures of $996 billion. By 2009, transfers had grown to $491 billion, but it was not enough to keep pace with local expenditures, which climbed to $1.641 trillion that year. Pew Center on the States analysis of U.S. Census State and Local Government Finance Database.
[xiii] National Conference of State Legislatures Survey of State Legislative Fiscal Offices, March 2011; National Governors Association and National Association of State Budget Officers, The Fiscal Survey of States, Fall 2010 and 2011.
[xiv] Rob Gurwitt, “As states cut aid, localities learn to do less with less,” Stateline, October 3, 2011.
[xv] Department of Legislative Services, Maryland, Overview of State Aid to Local Governments Fiscal 2012 Allowance, January 2011.
[xvi] David Teal, “Unfunded Liability in Alaska’s Retirement Systems: Where it Came From and How to Eliminate It,” Legislative Finance Division, Alaska, September 2011; Pew Center on the States interview with David Teal, Director of Legislative Finance Division, January 27, 2012.
[xvii] Elizabeth McNichol, Phil Oliff and Nicholas Johnson, “States Continue to Feel Recession’s Impact,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, March 21, 2012; Pew Center on the States analysis of U.S. State and Local Government Finance Database.
The State-Local Relationship
[i] Rob Gurwitt, “As states cut aid, localities learn to do less with less,” Stateline, October 3, 2011; Ohio Legislative Service Commission, Budget in Brief, HB 153 as Enacted, page 3.
[ii] Kenny Walter, “Christie touts shared services at town hall meeting,” Alanticville, March 15, 2012.
[iii] Anna Whitney, “Districts Avoid School Finance Lawsuits, Cite Finances,” The Texas Tribune, April 3, 2012; Sharie Harvin, “CCSD School Board President Wants to Sue State” 8NewsNOW, March 19, 2011; Claudio Sanchez, “Texas Schools Grapple with Big Budget Cuts,” National Public Radio, December 22, 2011.
[iv] Pew Center on the States interview with Gary Carlson, Intergovernmental Relations Department, League of Minnesota Cities, December 20, 2011; Minnesota Department of Revenue, “2011 First Special Session Chapter 7,” July 20, 2011. Pew calculations determined the total reduction in appropriated funds by the state to cities and counties in fiscal year 2011 and confirmed the data using Minnesota Department of Revenue documents provided by an official at the League of Minnesota Cities.
[v] Claudio Sanchez, Texas Schools Grapple With Big Budget Cuts, National Public Radio, December 22, 2011; Cynthia Cisneros, “Pasadena ISD hit hard by budget cuts,” ABC13, KTRK-TV, Houston, Texas, August 19, 2011.
[vi] Cherryl H. Lee, Robert Jesse Willhide, and Nancy I. Higgins, “State Government Finances Summary: 2010,” Government Division Briefs, U.S. Census Bureau, December 2011.
[i] Federal Funds Information for States, “State-by-State Analysis of BCA Sequester,” FFIS Special Analysis 11-06, December 2, 2011; “The Macroeconomic and Budgetary Effects of an Illustrative Policy for Reducing the Federal Budget Deficit,” Congressional Budget Office, July 14, 2011.
[ii] Property taxes represented about 29 percent of all local government revenues, over $400 million, in 2009. This was by far the largest source of revenue from taxes. These shares are even higher for townships and school districts. U.S. Census Survey of State and Local Government Finances.
[iii] The decline from Q4 2009 to Q4 2010 was the largest in real and nominal terms since 1988. Pew Center on the States analysis of U.S. Census Bureau State and Local Quarterly Tax Summary Data, inflation adjusted. To reflect differences in the Census Bureau’s survey methodology for property tax revenue data, property tax revenue prior to the fourth quarter of 2008 has been adjusted upward by 7.7 percent; this is in accordance with the changes described in the Bureau’s bridge study. To read the full bridge study, please refer to: www2.census.gov/govs/qtax/bridgestudy.pdf.
[iv] Richard Dye and Andrew Reschovsky, “Property Tax Responses to State Aid Cuts in the Recent Fiscal Crisis,” prepared for State and Local Finances After the Storm: Is Smooth Sailing Ahead?, March 30, 2007.
[v] Federal Housing Finance Agency Home Price Index.
[vi] Homes were sold off between December 2006 and May 2010. Laurie Goodman, “Dimensioning the Housing Crisis,” Financial Analyst Journal, Vol. 66, No. 3, May/June 2010.
[vii] Some academic studies have found relationships between vacant or foreclosed properties and crime. William C. Apgar, Mark Duda, and Rochelle Nawrocki Gorey, The Municipal Cost of Foreclosures: A Chicago Case Study, Housing Finance Policy Research Paper 2005-1, Homeownership Preservation Foundation (Minneapolis, Minn.: 2005); Christiana McFarland, Casey Dawkins, and C. Theodore (Ted) Koebel, “Local Housing Conditions and Contexts: A Framework for Policy Making” (Washington: National League of Cities, 2007); and Dan Immergluck and Geoff Smith, “The Impact of Single-family Mortgage Foreclosures on Neighborhood Crime,” Housing Studies 21, no. 6 (2006): 851–866.
Rate Changes and Limits
[i] Moody’s Analytics regularly updates their forecasts. In September 2011, they predicted that absent policy change average property tax revenues will decrease by 4.4 percent in 2012. Dan White, “Timing is Everything,” Government View: State & Local, Moody’s Analytics, June 2012; Moody’s Analytics, U.S., Regional, and Southeast Economic Outlook presentation, Washington, D.C, September 22, 2011.
[ii] According to Moody’s estimates, absent policy change, these states are predicted to see losses in property tax revenue above 5 percent in 2012. In Michigan, California and Florida, declines are forecasted to be greater than 10 percent. Moody’s Analytics, U.S., Regional, and Southeast Economic Outlook presentation, Washington, D.C, September 22, 2011.
[iii] State and Local Governments’ Fiscal Outlook April 2012 Update, United States Government Accountability Office.
[iv] Community Research Partners, “$60 Million and Counting: The cost of vacant and abandoned properties to eight Ohio cities,” February 2008, page 5-4 and 5-47; Rich Exner, “Vacant homes for sale numbered more than 20,000 in greater Cleveland: Sunday’s numbers,” Cleveland.com, May 15, 2011.
[v] This amounts to approximately $7,775 per property. Community Research Partners, “$60 Million and Counting: The cost of vacant and abandoned properties to eight Ohio cities,” February 2008, page 5-22, 47.
[vi] David McSwane, “City of Sarasota will raise property tax rates” Herald-Tribune, September 20, 2011.
[vii] Between 2009 and 2010 the total assessed valuation of property in Washington fell by 6.2 percent, but levies increased 1.8 percent. To achieve this, the statewide average tax rate rose from $9.41to $10.28 per $1,000. Tom Christensen and Beth Leech, “Property Tax Statistics 2010,” Department of Revenue, Washington State, accessed January 27, 2012.
[viii] Proposition 13 was the first and most famous outcome of the property tax revolts of the late 1970s and early 1980s. The proposition was passed on June 6, 1978. It rolled back assessment values to 1976 levels and limited growth in these values at 2 percent per year while ownership remained the same. The proposition also imposed a 1 percent limit on the property tax rate. The measure was approved with the support of two thirds of Californians. See Bing Yuan, Joseph Cordes, David Brunori, and Michael Bell, “Tax and Expenditure Limitation and Local Public Finance,” in Erosion of the Property Tax Base: Trends, Causes and Consequences edited by Nancy Y. Augustine, Michael E. Bell, David Brunori, and Joan M. Youngman, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 2009; Pew Center on the States analyzed data on revenue limits that set the maximum rate of growth for total revenue or spending, levy limits that cap total property tax collections, rate limits that set a ceiling on the rate at which properties are taxed, and assessment limits that cap the share of property considered taxable from the Significant Features of the Property Tax, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and George Washington Institute of Public Policy, 2010.
[i] “Governor signs property tax relief and reform bill,” State of Indiana Office of the Governor, Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., News Release, March 19, 2007; “Historic Property Tax Cap Becomes Law,” New York State Senate, Press Release, June 30, 2011.
[ii] Pew Center on the States Interview with Frank Shafroth, director of the Center for State and Local Government Leadership at George Mason University, April 20, 2012.
[iii] By contrast, states spent only 13 percent of their budget on employees that year. U.S. Census Bureau State and Local Government Finance Database.
[iv] Seasonally adjusted local employment has fallen from 14.6 million in September 2008 to 14.1 million in December 2011. Pew Center on the States analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics National Employment, Hours, and Earnings Database.
Cutting Key Services
[i] Nevada had the largest relative drop in local government employment of all states. The loss in California amounted to 5.1 percent of the total workforce. Texas added 22,000 local workers, but 1.4 million residents. Pew Center on the States analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics State and Metro Area Employment, Hours, and Earnings Database.
[ii] U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2008 to 2011, Annual Social and Economic Supplements.
[iii] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics; “Regional and State Employment and Unemployment – March 2012," Bureau of Labor Statistics, April 20, 2012.
[iv] U.S. Government Accountability Office, “State and Local Governments: Knowledge of Past Recessions Can Inform Future Federal Fiscal Assistance,” GAO-11-401, March 31, 2011.
[v] Jonathan Delagrave, director of the Human Services Department, reported statistics on Racine County’s safety net programs. Lindsay Fiori, “Racine County children faring badly in recession, too,” The Journal Times, September 23, 2011; Allison Trobiano, “Harford families need $62,000 to cover basic costs, study says,” The Baltimore Sun, February 23, 2012.
[vi] Melissa Maynard, “Anatomy of a backlog: How Vermont fell behind on adult protective services,” Stateline, December 14, 2011. See the Stateline series “Backlogged” at http://www.pewstates.org/projects/stateline/special-features/backlogged-the-growing-wait-for-state-services-85899374142 for more information on how agencies at the state level also have struggled with this experience.
[vii] Chris Le, “An Uphill Battle: City Cuts Into Backlog of Public Housing Repairs,” The Uptowner, December 20, 2011.
[viii] Localities with a high fraction of at-risk students have high costs; it has been estimated that “the cost of providing a given output is 9.69 percent higher if 10 percent of a district’s students are poor than if none are poor.” Thomas A. Downes and Thomas F. Pogue, “Adjusting School Aid Formulas for the Higher Cost of Educating Disadvantaged Students,” National Tax Journal, 47.1 (1994); Sam Dillon, “Lines Grow Long for Free School Meals, Thanks to Economy,” The New York Times, November 29, 2011.
[ix] From 2006 to 2010, public schools saw an increase of 1.5 percent, while private school enrollment decreased by 2.91 percent, according to enrollment data from the U.S. Department of Education. Greg Toppo, “Recession fuels shift from private to public schools,” USA Today, January 6, 2010.
[x] P. Oliff and M. Leachman, “New School Year Brings Steep Cuts in State Funding for Schools,” report by Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, October 7, 2011; Recovery.gov: Track the Money, “Contract, Grant and Loan Programs,” http://www.recovery.gov/Transparency/fundingoverview/Pages/contractsgrantsloans-details.aspx#Education, accessed March 19, 2012. Total education funds paid out figure is updated frequently. Amount reported in the brief is from March 19, 2012.
[xi] Claudio Sanchez, “Texas Schools Grapple With Big Budget Cuts,” National Public Radio, December 22, 2011.
[xii] Molly Hottle, “Portland Schools to see widespread layoffs, but deeper cuts to PE and high schools avoided for now,” The Oregonian, July 20, 2010; Betsy Hammond, “Portland School Board OKs budget that flat-funds schools, cuts 70 teaching jobs,” The Oregonian, May 24, 2011.
[xiii] Associated Press, “Nearly 70 percent of Pa. school districts increased class sizes, survey shows,” September 16, 2011; Associated Press, “When Pa. cut school aid, poorer districts lost,” August 7, 2011.
[xiv] Nate Berg, “Privatizing Police Work,” The Atlantic,October 21, 2011.
[xv] National League of Cities, City Fiscal Conditions in 2011, September 2011.
[xvi] Pew Center on the States interview with Jacqueline Byers, Director of Research, National Association of Counties, November 21, 2011.
[xvii] Rob Gurwitt, “In California, a state and local war over revenues and responsibilities,” Stateline, October 5, 2011.
[xviii] Phil Willon, “Riverside County to make inmates pay jail costs,” Los Angeles Times, November 20, 2011, accessed March 6, 2012; Aaron Smith, “California county to charge prisoners for their jail stay,” CNNMoney, November 9, 2011.
[xix] Lynn Olanoff, “Belvidere still faces 13 percent tax increase despite garbage cut,” The Express-Times, February 9, 2012.
[xx] Kevin Wiatrowski, “Tampa leaders work to bolster solid waste finances,” The Tampa Tribune, March 1, 2012.
[xxi] Rudolph Bush, “Dallas city manager expects to cut 500 jobs,” Dallas Morning News, July 15, 2010; Jason Whitely, “450 City of Dallas workers get layoff notices,” WFAA Dallas, August 6, 2010.
[xxii] The Library in the City: Changing Demands and a Challenging Future, The Pew Charitable Trusts Philadelphia Research Initiative, March 7, 2012. www.pewtrusts.org/our_work_report_detail.aspx?id=85899373217.
[xxiv] Tammy Daniels, “Stamford rejects school budget, cuts town budget,” iBershires.com, March 6, 2012; Town of Stamford Selectboard Meeting Minutes, March 15, 2012.
[xxv] Meghan Foley, “Stamford’s budget hits snag,” North Adams Transcript, March 7, 2012.
[i] The New Jersey Privatization Task Force, Report to Governor Chris Christie, May 31, 2011, page 1.
[ii] Motoko Rich, “A Hidden Toll as States Shift to Contract Workers,” The New York Times, November 6, 2011; Leonard Gilroy, Harris Kenny, Katrina Currie, and Elizabeth Stelle, “Privatizing ‘Yellow Pages’ Government,” The Commonwealth Foundation and the Reason Foundation, May 26, 2011.
[iii] The jury is still out on whether these measures save money without compromising the quality of services. Empirical studies show that privatization of local waste and water management is not systemically cost saving. Consolidation can save in one area, but generate new costs in other areas, balancing out the net effect. Germà Bel and Mildred Warner, “Does privatization of solid waste and water services reduce costs? A review of empirical studies,” Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 52 (2008) 1337–1348; Daniel Vock, “Governors look to consolidate, eliminate, follow lead of Depression-era leaders,” Kennebec Journal Morning Sentinel, February 23, 2009; Examples of recent consolidations from Brian Heaton: “2011 Digital Cities Survey Winners Announced,” Government Technology, November 2, 2011; “Washoe County and the Cities of Sparks and Reno, NV Initiate One-Stop Shop for Business License,” International City/County Management Association, November 21, 2011.
[iv] “Online Inmate Information and Jail Visit Reservation,” 2009 Finalist, Innovations in American Government Awards, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.
[v] Sarah Rich, “Light Monitoring System Keeps Glendale, Ariz. Out of the Dark,” Government Technology, October 24, 2011.
[vi] Minneapolis Mayor’s Office News Center, “Mayor, Council President Propose Contingency Funds to Mitigate State LGA Cut,”August 9, 2010.
[vii] “The Recession Continues: An Economic Status Survey of Counties,” National Association of Counties, March 2011.
[viii] Michelle Conlin, “States and cities selling public assets to cover their costs,” Associated Press, March 13, 2011.
[ix] Darrell Preston, “Morgan Stanley Group’s $11 Billion Makes Chicago Taxpayers Cry,” Bloomberg News, August 9, 2010.
[i] Tamara Keith, “Harrisburg, Pa., Incinerator Burns Hole in City Pocket,” National Public Radio, June 21, 2010.
[ii] Ted Nesi, “Why Central Falls owes its retirees $80 million in benefits,” WPRI.com Eyewitness News, July 19, 2011; Dee DeQuattro, “Judge approves agreement between receiver and retirees,” 630WPRO.com, January 9, 2012.
[iii] Presentation by Bob Kurtter, Moody’s Investor Service, U.S. Municipal Credit Update, Charlotte, North Carolina, March 31, 2011, page 3.
[iv] The Pew Center on the States, “Harrisburg and a Brief History of Municipal Bankruptcies,” October 19, 2011.
[v] Pennsylvania Senate Bill 1151 amended the state’s fiscal code to prevent cities of the third class from declaring bankruptcy, General Assembly of Pennsylvania, Senate Bill 1151, Session of 2011; Pennsylvania Office of the Receiver of the City of Harrisburg, “About the Office of Receiver,” accessed April 30, 2012, http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=1052658&parentname=ObjMgr&parentid=5&mode=2.
[vi] State of Michigan Department of the Treasury, Emergency Manager Information, http://www.michigan.gov/treasury/0,1607,7-121-1751_51556-201116--,00.html, and Summary of the Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act Process, http://www.michigan.gov/treasury/0,1607,7-121-1751_51556-198770--,00.html.
[vii] “2011 Sector Outlook for U.S. Local Governments: Toughest Year Yet,” Moody’s Investor Service, March 17, 2011.
[viii] Moody’s Investor Service, “Munis’ Tough Conditions Likely to Endure,” MuniMonitor, December 5, 2011, page 3; Moody’s Investor Service, “U.S. Municipal Rating Revisions Through the Great Recession,” Special Comment, August 31, 2011; Moody’s Investor Service, “U.S. Public Finance: Third Quarter Sets New Peak for Ratio of Downgrades to Upgrades,” Special Comment, November 1, 2011.