April 21, 2013
Examining state and local finances in recent economic recoveries, we find that state and local government activity exhibited an unprecedented decline during the most recent recovery. Never before had state and local contribution to GDP been negative three years after a recession passed its low point. This decreased activity caused a contraction in state and local government payrolls. While many factors affect these trends, it is likely that the unusually low growth in property tax revenue heavily impacted this decline.