Property-tax collections are on the rise. All around the country local government units are seeing a shimmer of light as the economy continues to recover from the recession. Property-tax collections are rising faster than at any point since the housing market crashed in 2008. As collections grow, local governments are finally allowed a respite from years of cutbacks.
During the last three months of 2013, property-tax collections grew to $182.8 billion nationally according to a U.S. Census. The growth in property tax will mean local governments can’t halt the lay-offs and begin offering benefits, particularly healthcare, as growing costs had put them beyond the reach of local government.
Property-tax collections are on the rise paralleling the growth of the real estate market around the country. In 20 U.S. cities, property values have risen by 10% since 2013 according to reports by the S&P/Shiller Index.
Property values weren’t the only thing rising over the past year. Local governments, which account for 14 million people in the workforce, have hired 57,000 workers. The synergy from the gains made in the property market is helping local governments who have essentially frozen hiring since 2008.
Local governments are also putting the additional funds to good use. City work projects and improvements such as libraries, fire stations, and police stations are now seeing budgets materialize. The sorely needed budget help is benefiting cities around the nation as local governments try to climb out of the fiscal pit they’ve been trapped in since 2008.