Squeezed Owners Seek Tax Break as Home Values Drop

Local governments feel the pinch as property taxes decline
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Dec 23, 2007 6:45 AM CST
Chart shows projected home sales for 2008; 1c x 3 inches; 46.5 mm x 76.2 mm   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – With property values falling across much of the nation, more homeowners are asking for reassessments, looking for a break from property taxes that inflated before the subprime mortgage balloon burst, reports the New York Times. For local governments, especially in areas already suffering from high rates of foreclosure, declining property taxes could cause budget cuts, service reductions and layoffs.

The residential tax base has declined by hundreds of millions of dollars in major cities across the country, and a whopping $2.9 billion in California from 2005 to 2008, according to a report by the US Conference of Mayors. Rapid growth areas—Southern California, Florida and parts of the Midwest—will be hardest hit.