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Before Stockton: five other big financial crises for US municipalities

Here's a look at some of the most notable financial collapses and near-collapses for US municipalities over the years.

- Mike EckelContributor

3. Cleveland

In 1978, the combination of a shrinking property tax, a reluctance to raise tax rates, and increased city expenditures made Cleveland the first major US city to default on its debt obligations since the Depression. Even after the mayor negotiated a refinancing deal with local banks, the city struggled to eliminate some $30 million in debts for years. It took until 1987 for the city to emerge from default.


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