America's state and local governments are in a fiscal vise. Federal intergovernmental aid reached a high water mark in fiscal 1979, but subsequent cutbacks by President Reagan and Congress brought the era of rapid growth in federal domestic spending to a screeching halt in 1981 with reductions of over fifty-three billion dollars in budgetary authority and thirty-five billion dollars in budgetary outlays. Local governments have responded by taking one of three fiscal paths: (1) forced austerity, resulting in school and library closings, deteriorating infrastructure, elimination of mass-transit systems and benefit and personnel cuts; (2) an increased dependence on local tax sources for financing of assets necessary to provide public services; or (3) some combination of the two previous alternatives. As a result, states and localities no longer spend enough on the repair and replacement of existing public facilities.
R. W. Moore,
Municipal Lease-Purchase Agreements: A Virginia Perspective,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
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