Since I mentioned the prospects of municipal bankruptcy in Vallejo, CA in an article last year, we’ve had a few developments. It appears now that unions are trying to push a law in California to prevent municipal bankruptcies:
So let’s summarize – they asked for and got salaries and benefits in prior negotiations that were too high to be sustained by tax revenue long term (poor assumptions)- now that they are bankrupting their municipal employers, they want to prevent any pay or benefit loss and force bankrupt cities to pay their benefits. if that happens, here’s what I think will follow:
In cities like Vallejo, property tax assessments will be sent out to make up the shortfall so, for example, the whiny city worker can get his fully funded pension covered at the same time three of his neighbors lose their jobs in the down economy (just a note – an acquaintance I know previously worked for a Massachusetts government agency – he would work 2-3 hours a day then go hide with 3 of his coworkers and sleep in their 4 man pickup). Then, residents, facing property values even farther below water, but with skyrocketing property tax bills, foreclose on their homes leaving the city to get their taxes owed out of the “equity”. Then ALL of the city employees lose their job due to lack of tax revenue – like win the battle lose the war.
Something like this is EXACTLY what I expect to happen. Considering past experience with the lack of common sense in such situations, I would almost GUARANTEE it.