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Riverside Finances Hammered Amid Housing Slump

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(credit: AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

(credit: AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

RIVERSIDE (CBS/AP) — Plummeting city tax revenues across the U.S. have dropped in 2010 by the largest amount in 25 years, according to a new survey, and the city of Riverside is no exception.

Sluggish home prices have sent property tax revenue tumbling 1.8 percent nationwide in fiscal year 2010, according to a report released Wednesday by the National League of Cities. It’s the first drop in the 25 years that the
survey has been conducted.

Ronald Loveridge, the mayor of Riverside, Calif. and president of the NLC, said he has cut the city’s budget to $190 million from $228 million in the past three years.

The city has instituted a hiring freeze, imposed cutbacks on library and community center hours and also made cuts to its police department, he said.

Riverside County has recently seen its foreclosure rates soar to among the highest in the nation.

Cities in all regions have been hit hard, though municipal officials in the West were slightly more likely to say their cities are worse off this year than last. Many Western cities are struggling with widespread home foreclosures and falling home sales.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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