In the past, I had Pension Tsunami as a resource link on my site, but when I cleaned up the appearance of my site a few months ago, I took the links off.
However, it doesn’t mean that those links weren’t good resources. I re-recommend that you visit PensionTsunami.com if you’d like to keep up with pension & local government budget issues online. The site is put out by a taxpayers group in
California called The California Public Policy Center, so they have an opinion in this debate. But that doesn’t mean this is not a good summary of the issue.
They have a daily email update or you can go to their website. They have alerted me to pension and budget problems in many smaller towns – stories that did not make national headlines until months later. It’s helped me to formulate advice to my clients to investigate the city you’re considering a home purchase in. Because if the city/town finances are bad, then your taxes might be heading up – way up, or services might be heading down.
In 2011, a home buyer needs to pay strong attention to the local budget – for personal and investment reasons. If you plan on buying a home, check the local budget.
1. Does the town have a rainy day fund?
2. Is there a solid commercial tax base (think Cambridge, MA as the gold standard in that department with a fairly recession-proof commercial tax base)?
3. Is the mayor creative about budget issues (in my city the mayor worked with teachers to take an across the board freeze or reduction in pay to avoid laying off many – not a bad strategy with few options available and it wasn’t a vitriolic discussion)?
Keep your eyes open to the budget when considering buying and if it looks like it might get worse, consider holding off.