In some places, cities are virtually giving away land in order to generate more revenue from property taxes paid by the land’s new owners.
“There are only so many ball fields a place can build,” Tobias J. Tempelmeyer, the city attorney of Beatrice, Nebraska, referring to government-owned land, told The New York Times. “It really hurts having all this stuff off the tax rolls.”
Dayton, Ohio, and Grafton, Illinois are also giving away land for little or nothing to reduce maintenance costs and boost tax revenues.
A new study from the Philadelphia Research Initiative looks at how 13 major cities are coping with the recession and finds that most are facing significant budget gaps and are cutting services and personnel in response, reports the Pew Charitable Trusts reports.
Philadelphia is one of four cities studied that is planning at least one major tax hike — a five-year, one percentage point increase in the sales tax.
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