Wednesday, September 5, 2007

This Is Not Unimportant

Jeremy Boren, TRIB: DeSantis proposes pension reform


  1. I'm glad he's addressing the issue, but what if those revenues don't materialize? I'd love to know how many things people have committed casino revenues toward; something tells me the amount far exceeds what we will actually see from the casinos.

  2. Gaming revenues will materialize. I wouldn't want to predict the number, but it will be significant.

    Some form of PILOT-like substance will materialize. Again, I wouldn't want to predict the number.

  3. Oh, I'm sure there will be revenues from gaming. I'm just skeptical that it will be what officials have predicted, and I'm concerned that they've already been over-committed.

  4. More plans for this unpredictable "pot o' gold" at the end of the gaming rainbow.

    This is not making me any more warm and fuzzy about my City pension monies.

    As a taxpayer I would prefer to have the monies from gaming be allocated for the reduction of property taxes. Our elderly citizens and young people just getting started are in dire need of property tax relief. I imagine alot of people close to foreclosure may be able to save their homes with some property tax relief.

    I believe the pension issue is not one that can or will be resolved on the "local" level. We need state intervention/take over of ALL municipal pensions with mandatory contributions from employers, and perhaps "new" employees participating in a defined contribution system.

    Too many politicians are not worried about anything beyond the expiration of their term.

    Despite what some folks say, the state pension system is in excellent shape.

    Mr. DeSantis, I am not impressed and to be honest, I was hoping for more than this. However I do commend the guy for trying. But just saying "we will use the casino money" is not a fix. I think Luke has the right idea by fixing the pension problem on a statewide level.

  5. The text of the DeSantis speech is over on the Burgh Report apparently, although how it got there I don't know.

    I think the idea of using the gambling revenue and non-profit revenue throws the differences between the Mayor and DeSantis into sharp relief. What should be important to us. Do we want to appease the older voting block by throwing what little new money comes in into reducing property taxes? Or do we want to do what's right and do our best to honor our debts? Maybe DeSantis isn't making the easy, slimy choice and promising the world to voters, betting the state will pay for it. But that's point, isn't it? We've mortgaged our future for too long. Now we need an adult to step in.

  6. Right on Ed. If they do not take care of the pension deficit now - property taxes will go up, income taxes will go up, parking taxes, etc, etc.

    See Chris Briem's PG piece on the "stealth" crisis that is the pension gap.

  7. I have to go search out the gambling legislation online.

    I know the taxpayers are going to be pissed if they approved gambling in order to get some property tax relief and they get the shaft by DeSantis who wants to move these monies around. I have a prediction. Gambling will ruin this City.

    Perhaps lil Bush doesn't want the state taking over the pension system because too many of his wall street fat cat friends are getting rich running my pension system into the ground?

  8. Screwed,

    State gambling revenues are already spoken for by a number of things including property tax relief.

    City gambling revenues are not spoken for though, they have not been designated for a specific purpose.

    Why do you resort to calling DeSantis lil bush? That makes zero sense. You must work for the city or have a lot to lose if Ravenstahl is out on his ass in November.

  9. Hey, Screwed --

    You have the right dismissive nickname, but you're applying it to the wrong candidate.

    Short-sighted. Arrogant. Inexperienced. Oddly deluded. Not terribly bright. Surrounds himself with unqualified cronies. Does nothing. Tries to take credit for everything. Can't admit when he's wrong. Can't even form a coherent sentence.

    We already have a Lil Bush, and he's already mayor.

  10. I believe Schultzy is correct in that CITY gaming revenues have not been divided among twenty billion interests.

    I believe city gaming projections are being used to show more favorable yearly budget figures. Why not get a more clear picture? Why not use this to encourage more spending discipline?

    For example ... and I did not get this from Mark, and I have nothing against biking ... but is now the time for a massive bike lane project?

  11. Bram, now is the the time (before gas goes to $10/gallon when we pull out of the ruins of Iraq), this is the place, but it doesn't matter, no one would support that (besides you, Chris and I).

    We will probably still have to go to the state for more money, and it might even make more sense to try to retire some different debt and just assume we have lost the pension battle ... but at least DeSantis is talking about the debt, not about how well the city is doing and how we don't need Act 47 any more.