A Break in the Levy

Source: Penelope Lemov, Governing, Vol. 22 no. 5, February 2009

Property tax revenue has kept localities solvent in many a recession. It won’t happen this time.

As state and local revenue sources go, the property tax always has been the steady one. Its cousins — the income and sales taxes — are more temperamental, rising triumphantly or falling tragically with the peaks and valleys of the economic cycle. When those latter two financial divas have stopped singing, because a local industry is in trouble or Wall Street is on a bear run, real estate properties have held their own, and the revenue based on that value has kept moving surely and quietly into local coffers.

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