An intriguing new report by the National League of Cities shows a 2.3 percent drop in general revenues for cities in 2011, the fifth straight year of revenue declines. Cities that rely mainly on property taxes are having the hardest time with their ledgers (see above), given an expected 3.7 percent drop in property tax collections. Income tax collections are also down, and sales tax revenues are flat. To cope, 72 percent of cities are laying off staff; 60 percent are putting off infrastructure projects; 41 percent are raising service fees. NLC’s director, Donald J. Borut, calls these moves “prudent,” because, really, with state aid cuts compounding their problems, what else can cities do?
Archive for September, 2011
The Cultural Landscape Foundation is out with its annual list of threatened landscapes, with a spotlight on the people who are trying to save them. This year’s dozen includes a James Rose garden in Georgia, the Sonoran Desert, Michigan’s Saugatuck Dunes, and the Wilderness Battlefield in Virginia, where Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee first faced each other in battle during the Civil War.