Guys I wanted to share with you an excerpt from a recent article that I read about how home values directly affect our daily lives and the government services we often take for granted.

An historic real estate collapse has hamstrung the economy and erased a decade’s worth of gains in the biggest asset most families have: their home. The next casualty: local school and government budgets. Metro Atlanta governments are struggling as plummeting real estate values take a toll on property taxes, their biggest source of revenue.

An investigation by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has found the five largest metro counties cut property values that help determine tax bills by $24.3 billion dollars, or 6 percent, in 2010. But in many cases, it wasn’t enough. Residential values in many areas remain too high. As county appraisers continue to lower values, property owners might save money on their tax bills. But, the savings might come at the expense of services they take for granted.

It’s already happening. Libraries are closing on weekends. Class sizes are getting bigger. School years are getting shorter. And this may be just the beginning.

Government officials, public finance experts and other observers say local governments and schools face a new era of austerity as property tax revenue wanes. Services the public has taken for granted — parks, libraries, swimming pools — may be reduced, eliminated or privatized as governments focus on core services like public safety.

Exchanges like parks vs. police; library vs. schools is becoming more common. It may be years before property values and tax revenue recover. That likely means years of budget cutting for local governments and schools.

“Our country, our citizens need to be a little more forgiving. We’ve all got to get real,” Willoughby said. “We are going to feel the effects of this recession for a decade. There’s not an easy fix.”

These factors are right now and absolutely relevant to investors and home buyers alike. Just wanted you to be in the know!


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