K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Madison property values see first decline in 35 years

Dean Mosiman:

There’s new evidence the deep national recession has taken a toll on Madison: the value of all real estate dropped by 3.1 percent for 2010, the first decrease in at least 35 years, according to data released by the city Friday.
Falling values do more than reduce the net wealth of property owners. Along with a slowdown in construction, they mean that under current tax rates, fewer dollars will be available to fund the rising costs of city, school and other public services 2011.
“There can’t be new spending. We’re going to have to cut where we can,” Mayor Dave Cieslewicz said in a phone interview from a transit research tour in the Netherlands. “Despite that, there will be considerable pressure on taxes.”

Local government units have been living off of parcel and assessed value growth for decades. This change has significant taxpayer implications…