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Statement From Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccioStatement From Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio<div class="ExternalClass1988402F696642DCA777AB68BC420E6B"><p style="text-align:center;">​<strong>Phoenix Planning to Pay Pension Debt with Debt, Add $1.5 Billion Cost to Taxpayers</strong></p><div>Remember just last year when Phoenix politicians were dancing victory laps over "solving" our pension debt crisis? The promises they made? Today we learned that those promises were nothing but hollow words. Right now, elected officials at the city of Phoenix are planning on extending Phoenix's pension re-payment obligations for another 10 years. The cost of this plan: $1.5 billion more taxpayer dollars.</div><div><br></div><div>"Phoenix politicians are going to take out a high-interest credit card to pay off a low interest card," fumed Councilman Sal DiCiccio. "It's insane."</div><div><br></div><div>In the years leading up to the recession, city of Phoenix officials consistently shortchanged our pension obligations, leaving the PSPRS pension system with an approximately $2.5 billion shortfall. Last year, a deal was struck to pay off that shortfall over the next 20 years.</div><div><br></div><div>"We made a deal to address these problems. To ensure we can pay our retired cops and firefighters the money they're owed," continued DiCiccio. "Now the Mayor and some members of the Council want to back out of that deal, kick the can down the road again. At best, they're going to cost the taxpayers of this city another $1.5 billion in interest payments. At worst, they're going to bankrupt us and take away the retirements our first responders are depending on. It's wrong. It's irresponsible. And I'm going to fight it every single step of the way."</div><div><br></div><div>The rationale behind this new plan to fleece taxpayers is to avoid relatively small, short-term cuts in city spending. "Our General Fund budget is over $1.2 billion, our total budget is over $3.8 billion, and to avoid cutting $40 to $60 million - barely 1% of our budget - they are going to hit taxpayers with bill for $1.5 billion," concluded DiCiccio. </div></div>5/19/2017 9:40:00 PMMatthew Heil602-534-0108