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The Boston Globe


US cities turn fiscal corner but not yet on solid ground

Rising pension and health care costs are threats

Fiscal conditions are slowly improving for US cities, aided by increases in sales tax and income tax revenue, but rapidly rising pension and health costs for city workers continue to pose a potentially crippling threat, an annual study by the National League of Cities concluded.

Local officials also expressed concern that the gridlock in Washington over the debt ceiling and other budget issues could send their cities back into a tailspin. In particular, there would be “catastrophic implications” to a failure to raise the debt ceiling, said Clarence Anthony, executive director of the league.

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