by: Diane Benjamin
A big part of the Bloomington Budget discussion has been pension funding. In November the City Council adopted an aggressive funding plan to save money in later years. The chart below shows the problem. The numbers come from this link: http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=5930 Page 250. The Police and Fire pension funds were the worst funded. These 2 are not the only funds the City contributes to.
Click on the picture to enlarge.
Citizens need to take a closer at what is really happening. Below is a chart for the next few years showing the INCREASE each year that will be required to fund just these 2 pension plans.
The Mayor and City Manager want taxes raised. Obviously raising $2-4 million more a year will not solve the long-term problem. What taxes will be raised next year, and the next year, and the next, etc? Where will the almost $15,000,000 come from in 2023?
If you think the Council was overly optimist with the new funding plan, look at the chart below – it shows what the State recommends. That chart is from: http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=6614 Page 24.
The Council was trying to do the right thing. Without the new funding plan, by 2041 payments to fund just Police and Fire pensions would be over $50,000,000.
Aldermen Stearns and Lower are trying to face reality. The Mayor, City Manager, and other Council members want citizens to believe that a tax increase now will fix everything. They don’t want to discuss cuts.
Monday night, during the regular 7:00 pm Council meeting, a public hearing will be held on the budget. They need to SEE and HEAR from you.