Saturday, April 2, 2011

Las Vegas Underwater

One of the greatest threats facing Las Vegas is drought. The Southern Nevada Water Authority publicized water conservation several years ago with a slogan along the lines of "Water: Our #1 natural resource". Growing up in Las Vegas public schools, I still remember water conservation specialists from the SNWA coming to school to encourage short showers, not wasting water while washing hands, and not over-watering the lawn (which my parents quickly changed to a more desert-friendly landscape).

It then comes as a shock to me to learn that most of Las Vegas is underwater. An underwater mortgage occurs when a home is valued at less than what the property owner paid for it initially.

The effects of the sub-prime housing bubble continue to stifle economic growth in this desert oasis, including the coffers of local governments. In some parts of the valley, mortgages can be found as low as $150 per month. The overall value of property has dropped so much that Clark County may lose one-fifth of its projected property tax revenues as reported in The Economist.

Meanwhile, demand for services - both governmental and otherwise - is on the rise.

Read more in the News page.


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