The coming crash in school revenue?



By 08/19/2009

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Everyone knows that school spending has been rising at a steady clip for just about forever. But is the Era of Big Spending coming to an end? Common sense would say that the bursting of the housing bubble means deflated property values and thus, eventually, deflated property taxes. (Eventually because property tax assessments tend to lag several years behind.) And since most school districts still rely heavily on property taxes, that means that the toughest, leanest years might still be ahead of us.

(The housing bubble also explains the meteoric increase in school spending in recent years, such as in Montgomery County, Maryland, where rapidly rising housing values allowed the district to spend lavishly on the neediest schools in the system.)

Has anyone looked at this issue empirically? Projected just how much property taxes are likely to fall, and what that implies for education funding? If you’ve seen something on this, please let me know.