Nutter Talks About City Budget Problems in Washington

Mayor Nutter yesterday traveled to Washington, D.C. to take part in a discussion about the fiscal challenges facing local governments -- and how the federal stimulus package has done little to remedy the problems. The talk was sponsored by the Brookings Institution and the National League of Cities and featured three other mayors in addition to Nutter.

Here's an excerpt from a Wall Street Journal story on the event:

Even as economists declare the recession over, local revenues continue to fall. That's because the lion's share of their receipts -- sales, income and property taxes -- are connected to the job market and real-estate prices. Jobs and real-estate prices are expected to lag the broader economic recovery, reducing city revenues for months or years after the technical end of the recession.

"This is unknown for our generation," said Chris Hoene, director of the center for research and innovation at the National League of Cities. Mr. Hoene said it was likely to be 18 to 24 months before local government revenues resume growing.

We've reported before that the stimulus funds didn't do anything for the city's budget shortfalls. The money basically cannot be used to plug budget gaps or save city jobs. And very little of the cash pledged to the city has even arrived yet.