We have a couple of 1950’s suburbs here that mainly lived on tax revenuse from now-defunct shopping malls or manufacturing plants. It’s pretty easy to see the slide into what you might call “genteel poverty.”
Non-critical jobs don’t get filled, so parks and municipal buildings don’t get maintained, and start to look run down. It gets harder and takes longer to deal with the local government.
Street maintenance gets cut back and street lights get turned off.
Fire and police budgets get cut, so turnover increases as experienced staff leave for better jobs.
Somewhere along this line the suburb hits a tipping point, where housing prices start to drop, which means property tax revenues go down even further, which accelerates the downward spiral.
These are just small suburbs. They aren’t responsible for also trying to maintain a liobrary, health department, school system, water or electric utilities, etc. Those government bodies are also having their own problems.