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Tax appeals skyrocket as home values plummet (access required)

After learning in February that 99 percent of all Maricopa County homeowners could expect to see the value of their homes decrease from the previous year, Gregory Sarena was stunned to learn the county assessor concluded his Cave Creek residence had gone up 20 percent within one year.

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Napolitano expected to take lead on immigration reform in 2010

After years of dealing with border issues in Arizona, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will have a lead role in President Obama's push for nationwide immigration reform. In Obama's tumultuous first year, comprehensive immigration reform has taken a back seat to the economy, health care and the environment.

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Cities, states wrangle over cuts to local aid

In Minnesota, Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty's cuts in state funding to local government forced cities and counties to consider their own round of layoffs, furloughs and benefit freezes. State reductions were so troubling in Massachusetts that three cities are now deciding whether to cancel their primary elections to conserve cash.

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Budget cuts drive states’ DMV changes

Drivers going to the department of motor vehicles will likely face longer lines and higher service fees in several states as recession-ravaged budgets force the shutdown of branch offices, a reduced work force and the need to raise revenue.

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