U.S. schools and municipalities, strapped for cash as the recession decimates revenues, are stepping up sales of everything from old police cars, helicopters, and bicycles to unused equipment and even horses in an effort to reduce swollen deficits, Reuters reports. And organizations that previously relied on old-fashioned auctions conducted in local parking lots are getting more sophisticated, turning to the online world as they seek to maximize their sales. As many as 46 states are struggling with deficits, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. And governments, which are required by law to close budget gaps, are being creative in seeking ways to meet the shortfall. Tampa recently raised more than $300,000 from the sale of a 1978 Piper police airplane. The sale was conducted by auction on www.govdeals.com, a web site founded by a former investment banker and two partners to help local governments maximize returns on unwanted assets. Listings on the site have increased significantly in recent months and governments are looking deep into their closets for things to sell. Among the more surprising offers is an Arabian horse currently on offer from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, with a starting bid of $50. The 100-mile endurance horse was used for exercise physiology and nutrition research at the university…

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