Georgia cities unable to file for bankruptcy -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Georgia cities unable to file for bankruptcy

Downtown Albany Downtown Albany
Tommy Coleman, Attorney Tommy Coleman, Attorney
Government Center in downtown Albany Government Center in downtown Albany

Detroit's bankruptcy filing has some asking if a Georgia city could be next, but one attorney said the answer is no.

State law prohibits cities from filing bankruptcy to absolve themselves of debt and forces city leaders to make tough decisions on raising taxes and cutting benefits and jobs.

Dwindling tax revenue caused by the recession and slow economic recovery left many cities struggling.

An attorney who represents many Southwest Georgia cities says residents shouldn't be concerned.

"A big problem that one would have would be in someplace like Atlanta, an already big community where they had a huge pension liability and didn't fund it adequately.  Other than that, the debt laws, I think, protect the public," said Tommy Coleman, Attorney.

Coleman said he has never heard of a city filing bankruptcy in the state.  He said cities that dissolve are absorbed by counties and get services from county government.

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