Town Council President David Rosow predicted Tuesday that the stock market upheaval on Wall Street will cause the town’s property values to “plummet,” thus reducing tax revenue and squeezing town government even harder.
Rosow told Town Manager Peter Elwell to plan for a smaller budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year, and to look for savings that would include pay cuts for town staff.
“It’s time to take another look at the budget for savings, including potential salary reductions,” Rosow said at Tuesday’s council meeting. “I would hate to see us have to lay people off.”
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Bill Hardin, a professor of real estate at Florida International University, says it’s too early to predict any long-term effects on Palm Beach’s housing market that may stem from this week’s news from Wall Street. He sees Rosow’s dire prediction as a symptom of a broader uneasiness in the wake of the economic turbulence of the past few years.
“I think, in a statement like that, you see that people are worried about the uncertainty in the world today,” Hardin said. “People today can’t see with a crystal ball where the economy’s going to go. There are no easy options. No one knows what the next thing is going to be.”
Read: “With stock market drop, council president tells town manager to find savings for 2012-13,“ an article by Palm Beach Daily News.