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Weak Property Values Slow Orlando's Recovery Years After Recession

November 11, 2013 | WMFE - Sluggish property values remain Orlando's biggest problem as the city recovers from the Great Recession. That's according to a report Monday from the Pew Charitable Trusts. But the report says the recession really didn't hit Orlando, like many cities, until two years after it ended in 2009.

The report examined how the nation's 30 largest cities – including Orlando – got through the worst recession since the Great Depression.

Kil Huh directs Pew's work on state and local fiscal health. He says the recession didn't hit many cities immediately because of the way property assessments are done.

"Because the property assessments often lag a year or two after a change in the actual value, the impact of the housing crisis was not felt in many cities until 2010 or 2011."

Compounding the problem for Florida cities is a 2007 change in state law capping assessment increases. The law, enacted before the housing bust, was meant to relieve tax burdens.

Orlando's revenue dropped 11 percent between 2009 and 2011. But spending cuts meant the city's fiscal cushion grew even as other Florida cities had to tap their reserves.


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