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Property Taxes Jump for Local Governments, Census Reports

Sept. 25 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. local governments’ property-tax collections increased 6.2 percent during the second quarter from the year before, the Census Bureau reported, easing the strain on cities from the housing market crash.

The increase to $91.1 billion during the three months ending in June marks a shift from the year before, when collections dropped for the period. Including states, property taxes rose 5.7 percent to $94.4 billion.

The rise indicates cities may be recovering from the worst of the financial setbacks triggered by the slide in real-estate prices, which forced them to dismiss workers and cut their budgets to make up for the lost revenue. Such spending cuts have been a drag on the nation’s recovery from the recession that ended more than three years ago.

The Census report was released amid signs that low mortgage rates are boosting the real estate market. In July, property values in 20 cities rose 1.2 percent from a year earlier, the biggest twelve-month advance since August 2010, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index, released today.

To contact the reporters on this story: William Selway in Washington at wselway@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at smerelman@bloomberg.net;

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