The Cautionary Tale of Vallejo

Vallejo, CA declared bankruptcy last spring, felled by fiscal mismanagement and falling property taxes. Cities around the country are looking to Vallejo's example as they teeter near the edge.

"'Vallejo was sort of the canary in the coal mine - the sickest patient goes first,' says Dean Gloster, an attorney representing Vallejo's unions. 'Even better-run cities are going to be facing similar issues as health care costs rise and the baby boomer generation reaches retirement age.'

A September report from the National League of Cities points to precarious fiscal conditions in cities across the nation, due to falling revenues from property, sales and income taxes and rising costs from inflation, energy, infrastructure, salaries, health care and pensions. 'Vallejo is significant in the sense that the reasons they are doing it are factors that are going to be in place in cities across the country,' says Chris Hoene, director of policy and research for the National League of Cities. 'You can see the Vallejo situation as something that cities across the country watch as a way to bring costs under control.'

Full Story: Vallejo’s Fiscal Freefall

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.
$19.00
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95