Pension report: Local governments improving problems but more progress needed
Looking at Florida's Municipal Pensions: How some Florida cities are dealing with pension funding issues highlights the steps being taken by cities like Lakeland, Miami, and Jacksonville, among others, to reduce the burden on local taxpayers as a result of promised pension benefits to municipal employees.
"A number of Florida cities are faced with significant, almost crippling liabilities in their municipal pensions that bring into question the long-term sustainability of these pension systems," said Dominic M. Calabro, President & CEO of Florida TaxWatch. "This Research Report shows that while some have chosen to kick the can down the road, there are some cities stepping up and making the hard, yet necessary choices on behalf of taxpayers. Some of these solutions show that it is not just a funding problem, it is a systemic problem."
"This report examines accounts of what some cities are doing to address the funding challenges today and those looming in the future," said Dr. Carol S. Weissert, Director of the LeRoy Collins Institute and Professor of Political Science at Florida State University. "City officials have worked with their employees and their employee unions to realistically address underfunding issues in ways that best meet their own situations."
From Robert Weissert of TaxWatch: This work for this research report was funded, as all Florida TaxWatch independent research is, by the generous annual contributions of our members from around the state. There were no grants or other funding sources provided to Florida TaxWatch in conjunction with this research project.
TaxWatch partnered with the LeRoy Collins Institute (LCI) in conducting the research and therefore bearing the cost of the research (in staff time), but we received no payment from LCI, FSU, or any other entity regarding this project. The initial research work was completed by Erica Bormuth, a graduate student in political science at FSU whose summer stipend was paid for by the FSU Dept. of Political Science and who worked under the direction of Professor Carol S. Weissert, who is also the Director of the LCI. TaxWatch staff worked directly with her and LCI in competing this joint report.