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Some small towns are thinking of just going away, according to the Wall Street Journal. They are considering disincorporation. It’s rare — the last town to dissolve itself in Washington State was Elberton in 1965; in California, the last town to disincorporate was Cabazon in 1972 — but the tough economy is leading some to consider municipal suicide, at least according to the Journal. (The WSJ site is subscription only; the story is here.)
Mesa, Washington (map above) is a town of 500 people 250 miles east of Portland that has begun talks with the county about disincorporating. Rio Vista and Vallejo in California are also saying they may need to dissolve in order to solve some financial difficulties. (Vallejo filed for bankruptcy last year.) The Journal reports that most towns can’t simply disincorporate in order to avoid financial difficulties.
Meanwhile, some citizens of Spokane Valley, Washington, want to disincorporate their 90,000 city in a populist uprising spurred by rising taxes. “Too many people are hurting from how bad the economy is doing,” said one member of the group wanting to dissolve Spokane Valley. “We just can’t put up anymore with what the government wants.”