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Who Will Pray for Gary?

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Governments at all levels are in financial trouble. Colonel Obama says the Federal government is facing a wall. The Governator has been zig-zagging California toward a cliff. Visits to Detroit’s decay are a regular feature on NRR. But the City of the Century may beat them all in the race to failure:

Abandoned Church in Gary, Indiana

It’s much more likely not to happen than to happen but the clock is ticking for the death of Gary, Indiana. State law imposes property tax caps on all local governments far below the level Gary has grown accustomed to. Gary finances 80% of its $80M+ general fund operations through the use of property taxes. A vote on including the tax caps in Indiana’s Constitution is widely expected in 2010.

Gary has appealed and gotten special exemptions at a level unique in the state to maintain higher taxes while undergoing adjustments to bring government down to a size that can survive on anticipated revenue. Absent that relief, Gary’s 2010 property tax receipts would drop from a projected 62.9M to 28.1M.

The city has about a year to figure out how to survive with 50% less revenue.

Congress is adept at kicking Federal financial problems into the future. California can expect a Federal bailout before it collapses. People are paying attention to Detroit, and it’s ultimate failure might be too much of a symbol for Congress to accept. Gary is not too big to fail. And although 25 miles from Chicago, it isn’t in Illinois, out of reach and/or of little consequence to the Daly/Obama machine.

Perhaps the richest potential benefactors, the Jackson family is conspicuously from Gary, not in Gary. It looks like even god has abandoned the Magic Ciy of Steel.