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County Governments in Subprime Housing Fallout Areas About to Take Another Beating

Imagine being the comptroller for a County Government in a heavily hit Housing Market Region? Much of your County’s budget money comes from property taxes and there are record number of foreclosures, worse, the onslaught of requests for property tax reassessments are chipping into the county’s income and tax base – see the problem?

In some areas of Detroit, Clark County (Las Vegas), Phoenix, Southern Florida, Riverside, Sacramento and San Bernardino Counties in CA, this problem is so bad it may bankrupt the local governments. On top of this growing dilemma is the fact that crime rates drastically increase at a 2:1 per each additional foreclosure. This means that county sheriffs, courts, jails, social services, probation departments and rehabs also need more budget monies.

The county tax assessors need more staff to re-assess properties too, but each time they go out the county pays for those services, plus the re-assessed properties cause lower income in taxes. It’s a lose-lose situation for the counties and their already stressed budgets. However, homeowners are saying;

If my property is worth $100,000 to $175,000 less, then, I don’t owe that money and I should not be forced to pay what I do not own!

The property tax base is eroding just like the housing market, and for now, there is no relief insight to increased foreclosures and stress in the housing sector. Its time for government at all levels to reduce the fat, if they are to continue to serve us. Now the tough job will be which government services to cut first, as these agencies get back to a bare bones government.

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