Phx taxpayers on hook for city pension hikes

$100 million more for indefensible costs

It’s a rare occurrence that this site links directly to an article in the daily newspaper.  Today we make an exception as we link to a well researched and fact-filled report by Craig Harris regarding the unsustainably costly pensions and benefits received by employees of the City of Phoenix.

Harris writes: Phoenix residents for a second straight year will pay more than $100 million in fiscal 2012-13 to maintain the city’s ailing employee-pension system, while a task force considers whether current city employees should shoulder more of the cost.

Deputy City Manager Rick Naimark said Tuesday that the city’s financial contribution to the Phoenix Employee Retirement Plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1 will increase to $110 million, roughly $3.6 million more than the current fiscal year.

Since 2000-01, when the city paid $22.3 million to fund the pension plan, annual taxpayer-funded city contributions have increased by 377 percent, city records show. Eleven years ago, the city’s contribution to the pension plan on behalf of each employee amounted to roughly 6 percent of the employee’s income. City workers, meanwhile, contributed 5 percent of their pay.

Today, employees still set aside 5 percent of their pay for their pensions, as required by city charter. But Phoenix’s contribution to the plan on behalf of each employee now equates to roughly 18 percent of each employee’s pay, and that figure will rise to slightly more than 20 percent next fiscal year, Naimark said.

The complete report can be read here.

A pension reform panel meets today at 3:00 pm to discuss proposed pension changes for current Phoenix employees. The meeting will take place in the Phoenix City Council Chambers,200 W. Jefferson Street.

Yesterday hundreds of union supporters of Democrat mayoral candidate Greg Stanton packed the council chamber to urge council members to keep the 2 percent tax on food.  Liberal Stanton resigned his council position to run for mayor but said he would have voted in support of the tax.

Republican mayoral candidate Wes Gullett has pledged fiscal accountability and to rescind the outrageous tax.

With Stanton on the council, the City of Phoenix paid $14.3 million to 6,989 employees in unconscionable “retention bonuses.” That’s $2 million more than the food tax would bring in. The fiscally conservative Americans for Prosperity has named Stanton Hero of Big Government and Champion of Big Government.

6 Responses to Phx taxpayers on hook for city pension hikes

  1. LD 7 PC says:

    Unions are out of control. Greg Stanton personifies the problems. Until he reported the theft of nearly $80,000 of his campaign funds by his treasurer Mindy Shields, her father Billy Shields the firefighter’s powerful union lobbyist was Stanton’s bestest bud. You might not like Wes Gullett, but he is far preferable to liberal slug Greg Stanton.

  2. Justin says:

    If you like slobbery leftist, Sanctuary City mayor Philiberto Gordon, you’ll love Greg Stanton.

  3. TeaPartyPatriot says:

    One can ALWAYS easily spot a lunatic-left -dominated government: it is morally, ethically, socially, politically and fiscally bankrupt and, instead of reforming, just doubles-down on stupid while careening ever faster down the d-cRAT socialist “Road to Hell”.

    If only the geography were different, the responsible citizens of Arizona could give Phoenix to its role model, the peoples republic of california, and thereby immensely improve our state.

  4. Maggie says:

    Wes Gullett is another “nose holder” to vote for, but I agree that he’s far better than the Gordon-Stanton continuation. Stanton is even worse than Gordon because he’s smarter (isn’t anyone?) and more cunning.

    • Angie says:

      LOL , Maggie, you are sooo right about Gordon. As for Stanton, the evil in him might be worst than we’ve ever seen.
      He’s cunning. It bothers me that the city has a policy they often show their employees to let them know they can get terminated
      if they get involved in politics. They are not allowed to make
      calls to ask for votes for any candidate, not do they allow the
      employees to sign petitions or collect signatures.

      But, surprise! The Unionized city employees can sure support
      and contribute to candidates such as Greg Stanton…why?
      because he supported a pay raise for Policemen and Firemen.
      The signs all over the city have the Police and Firemen as
      endorsing him (I’m also sure they contributed big to Greg’s campaign). Who will investigate such corruption??

      We don’t need Corrupt Stanton in the Mayor’s office, that’s
      for sure!