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Thursday, July 30, 2009

How desperate it's getting out there

This is, as I mention above, how bad things are getting out there:

Alabama's largest county is set to release 80 percent of its staff, due to low tax coffers, as it faces possible bankruptcy. Maybe you caught this on NPR this evening, as I did, on your way home from the office.

"Alabama's largest county, Jefferson County, is in financial turmoil. It can't make its payroll and plans to furlough two-thirds of its workers, about 1,400 people, on Friday."

"At the county courthouse in downtown Birmingham this week, residents waited in long lines for hours to take care of business before the cuts take effect."

This is really fairly stunning.

It isn't like we're talking Florida or Nevada or California, where we've known for a long time there were awful budget deficits that had to be dealt with.

The reason isn't just the worst downturn in the economy in 70 years, however, and that's the key here.

"Commissioner Bobby Humphryes says the problem stems from a court ruling that struck down Jefferson County's occupational tax, taking away about a quarter of the county's budget."

This ruling, on top of this economy, makes for a really horrible situation for Jefferson County, Alabama and its citizens.

Then, at the same time, news is out that Arizona is considering selling its state capital, to raise money.

While it's clearly a desperate move on the legislator's part, if they can make their plan work, I have to hand it to them. Check this out:

"...officials hope to sell the properties and then lease them back over several years before assuming ownership again."

That's genius.

Like I said, if they can pull off selling the capital, getting millions of dollars for it and then buying it back and have it work well, that is one incredibly clever plan.

Sure, it's born out of desperation but it's surely brilliant.

That is, if they can pull it off.

Link to stories:
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2009/07/arizona-may-sell-state-capitol-building.html
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111341720

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