“The schools are facing unprecedented cuts as the district tries to close a massive budget deficit, while the city is running out of cash and could do so before the end of the year.
A declining tax base contributes to the overall problem — between 2009 and 2012, the assessed value of property in the city dropped by more than $30 million, according to a school district report.
Meanwhile, each time property taxes increase, fewer people pay them. According to a school district report, property tax collection rates have fallen from 87 percent to 83 percent.
Huge swaths of the city are owned by tax-exempt organizations — including state government. Together they account for 49 percent of the city’s tax base.”