Draconian moves a must for local budgets:Governments lay off workers, postpone projects

Wednesday, December 29, 2010
By Paul Martin

By Sean Lengell
The Washington Times

While the national economy shows signs of improvement, city and county governments nationwide still are feeling the strain, as 2010 was among their worst years financially in decades.
As a result, local governments have slashed budgets, scaled back or postponed infrastructure projects, and laid off significant chunks of their work force.
And with the real estate market – and therefore property tax revenue – still stagnant, local officials don’t expect the situation to improve much in the new year.

“It will get worse before it gets better,” said Mark Muro, policy director for the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, a liberal-leaning Washington think tank. “This is a very dire time” for local governments.

Few areas of the country have been immune to the bad economy, as cities of all sizes have proposed drastic measures to shore up budget shortfalls.

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