Tax Appeals Swamp U.S. Communities

From Bloomberg we find a fiscal flood from taxpayers seeking to lower property-tax bills, which threatens to swamp local government budgets across the U.S. From Los Angeles to Atlantic City Bloomberg finds property owners are demanding lower taxes after real-estate values plunged. U.S. home prices are 30 percent below their peak of April 2006, according to the seasonally adjusted S&P/Case-Shiller Index of property values in 20 cities. Clark County, Nevada, which includes Las Vegas, had 8,300 appeals last year, an increase from 6,000 the year before. In Atlantic City, where 11 casinos account for 74 percent of the property-tax base, the city has exhausted a reserve for tax appeals that in 2006 held $26 million, according to a Nov. 4 Moody’s report on the rating cut. Los Angeles County expects “a few thousand” more than the 42,000 applications in the past year, quadruple the 9,353 in 2007.

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