The Tax Foundation says that despite the drop in home values, property tax collections increased by an average of 4% nationwide from 2007 to 2008. Here is an interesting summation: "Home values dropped by almost 16 percent from 2007 to 2008, yet property owners in most states paid more in 2008 than they had the year before," said Tax Foundation Staff Economist Kail Padgitt, Ph.D., who co-authored the report. "There are two explanations for this: First, administratively, it's relatively easy for localities to raise property tax rates to compensate for declining property values. Secondly, lagged or incorrect property assessments meant revenues continued to increase despite a drop in market value."
As the Cato Institute notes, labor unions are playing less of a role than ever in the private economy but a bigger one in the public-sector (i.e. government jobs). In essence, nearly 40 percent of the public-sector employees are unionized, Cato says. That's about five times the amount of the private economy. In essence, politicians are owned by public-sector labor unions. And must cater to their unsustainable and overly generous pay packages and retirement plans.
But as we reported in our 2008 story "Promises Will Be Broken," don't count on city, state or federal governments being able to make good on those future obligations to unionized public-sector workers.