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Cities and towns suffered from the economic collapse of the Great Depression just as businesses and consumers. The massive decline in economic activity radically reduced the taxes on which municipalities depended. Unemployed citizens often could not afford to pay their property taxes. With the decline in business activities and retail sales, local governments received reduced income from these tax sources. Some municipalities actually went bankrupt during the Depression. Others followed the strategy of Shelburne Falls, a small industrial town in Western Massachusetts. This article relates that teachers at Shelburne Falls' Arms academy took a voluntary reduction in salary. Employment at reduced wages was preferable to the unemployment these teachers would have faced had the town declared bankruptcy.