MuniLand Snaps: July 12

Newport Beach, California, one of the nation’s richest communities, has one of the scariest police recruiting videos you can imagine. Many have warned about the militarization of community police, and this is a perfect illustration. In contrast the Decatur, Georgia recruiting video has a focus on empathy and working with members of the community. (Hattip OC Weekly)

Good Links

LAT: Rising costs push California cities to the fiscal brink

BreakingViews: Bankruptcy loses its taboo for California’s cities

Bond Buyer: San Bernardino Chapter 9 sets standoff with bondholders

Mastagni Law: A public union lawyer’s view on why cities scapegoat cops and firefighters

The Record: Retired Stockton employees trying to stop the city from ending their medical benefits

City of Baltimore: Libor-based financial instruments antitrust litigation

Reuters: U.S. states look to enter Libor manipulation case

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MuniLand Snaps: July 11

The Tax Foundation put together this chart on changes in property tax rates.

Good Links

Bond Buyer: Obama’s tax extension proposal for high earners would boost muni demand

CSM: Got student debt? Move fast, and some cities will help you pay it off

Comptroller of California: The state ended the fiscal year with a cash deficit of $9.6 billion

AP: San Bernardino votes to declare bankruptcy

Roanoke Times: Editorial: Putting the squeeze on Virginia’s localities

GovTech: Report: Chicago might try again for municipal wireless

GovTech: Free community Wi-Fi coming to an end in Seattle

@Twitter Talk

MuniLand Snaps: July 10

The Kaiser Family Foundation provides a useful map of spending by state on Medicaid, and Reform+Medicaid spells out the reasons that some states are rejecting Obama’s Medicaid expansion.

Good Links

Jones Day: Constitutional limitations on the seizure of underwater mortgages

National Center for Education Statistics: 13.2 percent of public-school students are in disability programs

Governing: Public pensions and the value of honest numbers

Reuters: Texas joins Wisconsin, Louisiana and Florida in rejecting healthcare expansion

MuniLand Snaps: July 9

A well-to-do city outside Atlanta incorporated and privatized most of the municipal services it provides. More from conservative think tank Reason.

Good Links

NYT: Doughnuts defeating poverty

WaPo: What happens if a state opts out of Medicaid, in one chart

NPR: At work and at play, how cities stack up

Tableau: How California gets its revenue Wisconsin pensions get shock treatment

Stateline: Detroit and Michigan: A fragile bargain

Oakland North: Oakland votes to terminate swap agreement with Goldman Sachs

U.S. Bankruptcy Court: Town of Mammoth Lakes bankruptcy case McAllen, Texas turns abandoned Walmart into a public library

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MuniLand Snaps: July 5

The Big Bay Boom Fireworks Show in San Diego for 2012 was a “Big Bay Bust.” There was a technical problem and all of the fireworks went off within 30 seconds. The original Big Bay Boom was set to last about 15 minutes. (from  at YouTube)

Good Links

The Atlantic: The triumph of the family farm

Kaiser Health News: States balk at expanding Medicaid

Reuters: How Stockton went broke: A 15-year spending binge

@Twitter Talk

MuniLand Snaps: July 3

video platform video management video solutions video player

Happy 4th of July! Listen to an archival recording of Senator John F. Kennedy reading the Declaration of Independence in its entirety. It was made for New York radio station WQXR’s 1957 July 4th observance (via

Good Links

CBO: Estimates for the insurance coverage provisions of the Affordable Care Act

Stateline: Why are welfare rolls flat, while the food stamp program grows rapidly?

Moody’s: Moody’s proposes adjustments to U.S. public-sector pension data

MuniLand Snaps: July 2


From the Tax Foundation:

The growth of state government spending over the past decade. These percentages show the growth in direct spending between 2000 and 2010, in real dollars per capita (to eliminate the effects of population growth and inflation). Oklahoma leads the pack with a 74% increase in state government spending over ten years; Alaska, whose state government only grew 17% faster than its population, is at the bottom.

Good Links

Reuters: Analysis: Jumping off the fiscal cliff

GovTech: Health insurance exchanges getting more federal funding

Bloomberg: How Wall Street scams counties into bankruptcy

The Post Standard: It was all about the “golden cow” of tax breaks

Reuters: Securities trade group says the masking of large municipal trades should continue

Reuters: U.S. municipal bond sales to sink to $59 million Bond insurer may contest Stockton bankruptcy

AP: Brilliant description of chaotic last few days of Pennsylvania budget fight

Birmingham News: Judge rules Jefferson County cannot use sewer revenues for legal fees

MuniLand Snaps: June 29

NPR: Saving California state parks: The end of public funding?

Good Links

Reuters: U.S. recovery varies greatly by state, county and city

GovTech: Dynamic maps track Colorado wildfires

AP: New California budget crafted to influence voters

University of Chicago: Building America’s new generation of arts facilities

Reuters: Stockton, California’s insured debt proves alluring

AP: Deal reached on tax breaks for Pennsylvania refinery

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MuniLand Snaps: June 28

A month ago Marianne Russ of Marketplace Money did this story about the residents of nearly bankrupt Stockton, California. Generally they are committed to their city, but many say they may move away regardless.

Good Links

New York Fed: Fiscal drag from the state and local sector?

Bloomberg: Tax growth slows for states and cities, U.S. Census says

The Atlantic: The 7 biggest cities to file for bankruptcy

Reason: What happened in Stockton?

Self-Evident: A defense of the tax exemption for municipal bonds

Bloomberg: No need for tax-exempt debt as colleges avoid IRS

WSJ: NY Thruway Authority easily sells bonds after ratings warning Scranton mayor slashes wages of city workers

@Twitter Talk

MuniLand Snaps: June 27

The number of millionaires ebbs and flows with the economic cycle (via the Tax Foundation).

Good Links

The Atlantic: America’s most important cities: 1978 versus 2010

Gov Tech: States seek Medicare data to keep fraudulent providers out of Medicaid

Reuters: Stockton, California to file for bankruptcy

WSJ: The Stockton bankruptcy: Should investors be worried?

NYT: High-income enclave in Georgia privatizes all services except fire and cops

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