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W E E K L Y  U P D A T E  August 24th, 2020
In this Week's Issue:

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Five NEMW Cities Top List of Places with Most Fiscal Pain from Greater Recession

A summary of how the tsunami of tax and fee revenue short-falls is likely to impact 150 larger cities by New York Times reporters Emily BadgerQuoctrung Bui was published in The New York Times on August 17, 2020. See: "The Recession Is About to Slam Cities. Not Just the Blue-State Ones".  
The article is based on a forthcoming paper, "The Fiscal Effects of The Covid-19 Pandemic on Cities: An Initial Assessment," by Howard Chernick, David Copeland, and Andrew Reschovsky, to be published in the September, 2020, issue of the National Tax Journal. The paper includes estimates of revenue shortfalls likely to be suffered by each city in fiscal year 2021, as compared to these jurisdiction's revenue trajectories prior to the recession. The analysis is based on data for 150 "fiscally standardized" cities (defined as fiscal units designed to take account of variations across central cities in governmental structure). The advance copy of this paper released to the Northeast-Midwest Institute by co-author Dr. Chernick can be found here.
Other news articles and opinion pieces this past week continue to put a spotlight on the unfolding state and local fiscal crisis. An article by Forbes contributor Liz Farmer on August 16, 2020, "No Foreclosure Crisis In Sight But Property Tax Revenues Still Falling", puts the largely unexpected drop in property tax revenue being experienced by local government during the Greater Recession under a useful magnifying glass. And a recent opinion piece in by Prof. Donald Kettl, "The Federalism Partnership That Is No More", looks at the big picture of intergovernmental fiscal relations.
Pending bi-partisan legislation in the U.S. Congress relating to the state and local fiscal crisis includes the SMART Act introduced by Senators Menendez, Cassidy, et al in the U.S. Senate and Representatives Sherrill, King, et al in the U.S. House, and the HEROES Act already passed by the U.S. House.
House Passes Bill to Prevent Postal Delays

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Delivering for America Act during a rare weekend vote on Saturday by a vote of 257-150. The bill would provide a $25 billion influx of funds to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), as concerns continue to arise about the USPS's ability to provide timely delivery of mail, including a significant increase in mail-in ballots for November's general election due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The bill would also prohibit the USPS from implementing any changes to the operations or level of service it had in place on January 1, 2020, until the COVID-19 pandemic has ended. While the bill passed with every Democrat and more than two dozen Republicans voting in favor of it, the Senate is not expected to take up the legislation. Additionally, the White House has issued a veto threat for the legislation.  
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