Tough times in the Desert

Take a look around while driving through any part of Phoenix and the amount of lifted trucks and high end cars will make you think that everyone here is making six figure incomes. The reality is that these people are in deep debt attributed to the housing boom seen over the last few years which has allowed people to take out second and third mortgages to make big purchases.

Now that the economy is slowing and the housing values are dropping we are seeing a slowdown in this spending. Since Arizona gets most of its taxes through sales and income there is a huge shortfall occuring in all city budgets across the state. Its going to start getting very tight around the Desert.

State and local governments tighten belts as tax revenues fall, a ripple effect of the housing slump.

If there’s any reason for cheer, it’s that the state has been in this position before, and it not only came out of it, but also came out of it with unprecedented growth to lead the country as the fastest-growing state last year.

“There have been seven nationwide recessions since 1960, and each time we’ve bounced back,” Vest says. “The two most recent recessions, in the early 1990s and 2001, were both short and mild. So far there’s no reason to believe this is any different than the last two.”

: Christian Science Monitor | Top Stories

Arizona coffers shrink amid housing bust