Grand Rapids Taxpayers: Do you know how your money is being spent? | Business
In May 2010, Grand Rapids Voters bailed out City Hall by approving a city income tax increase of $7.5 million per year for 5 years. Voters were told by city officials that the money was needed to prevent fire and police layoffs and to give the City Manager time to “turn the ship around.”
City leaders are currently diverting over $5 million a year of this money to a “transformation” fund that pays the health care claims of public employees who retire before age 65. Why? Because the City provided a rich benefit that it failed to fund. These retiree health care claims cost the City $10,979,788 in 2010 and $9,400,197 as of November 7, 2010. (Source: Scott Buhrer, City CFO, November 7, 2010)
The unfunded liability for early retiree health care is $222 million that will likely cause the City serious financial difficulty for the next 35-40 years. The unfunded pension liability is an additional $150-$200 million. (Source: Scott Buhrer, City CFO, November 8, 2010)
How does the City plan to address these enormous unfunded liabilities that are driving the City closer to default? The lack of transparency is very disturbing. City taxpayers deserve to know what is happening with their money and with the City’s plan to “turn the ship around.”
Contact your elected City officials and ask for the answers and please plan to attend the City Commission Meeting at 7:00pm on Tuesday, January 24, 2012 when the G.R.A.S.S. roots Movement plans to attend and ask these questions.
G.R.A.S.S. (Grand Rapids Advocates for Sensible Spending) For questions, please contact Rina Baker at RinaBaker@sbcglobal.net or call her at: 616-453-0960
Source: Rena Baker