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Statement from Councilman Sal DiCiccio on Pension DebtStatement from Councilman Sal DiCiccio on Pension Debt<div class="ExternalClassA587BD55E0BA4773B557EE61DDB78F9A"><strong><font size="4"><p align="CENTER">Phoenix City Manager to Release Plan to Increase Pension Debt by $2.3 Billion</p> </font></strong><em style="text-align:center;"><font color="#1a1a1a" size="4"><font color="#1a1a1a" size="4"><p>Freddy Kruger would have Been Proud of Manager: Washington Street has turned into Nightmare on Taxpayers</p></font></font></em><p>Today, the City of Phoenix will release their plan to increase the cost of City pension debt by $2.3 billion in what City Councilman Sal DiCiccio is calling "the most fiscally irresponsible move ever by the city of Phoenix." </p><p>The plan would allow the City to pad the general fund budget by between $15 and $30 million per year, but because the plan is essentially putting the future of the City of Phoenix on a high-interest credit card, those relatively meager short-term benefits would be swamped by long term costs. Further, this plan – which would commit the city of Phoenix to increased spending that is roughly double the entire current general fund budget – is being brought forward with virtually no public input.</p><p>"I find it disturbing that the city manager would create such a fiscal nightmare; be willing to put this burden on police and fire while refusing to do this to his own pension, is setting up the next city manager for failure, and is putting an enormous burden on the taxpayers – all with so little transparency," said DiCiccio.</p><p>Phoenix has spent months planning the current budget, held meetings – sometimes more than one – in every Council district, and numerous public hearings regarding the budget, and yet this proposal is set to be heard for the first time next Tuesday June 13th, and the public will not have any opportunity to discuss the matter until the final vote scheduled on June 21st.</p><p>The police and fire pensions are already considered to be the most vulnerable and most shaky of all the pensions, and this plan will increase the risk to those funds – and to the city of Phoenix – enormously. In the event of a financial downturn anytime in the next three decades, the city will have absolutely no way to meet its obligations, and the U.S. has never gone 30 years without some sort of recession.</p><p>"The first thing any financial planner will tell you is, 'start by paying off your high-interest debt". This move by the city manager is exactly the opposite: Phoenix is using high-interest debt to pay off a low-interest loan. It's insanity. Think about this: if a person cannot control their own personal finances, would you recommend they increase their credit debt? That is what the staff and politicians are recommending today. But in this case, they won’t do it to themselves they want to stick it to police and fire, and the taxpayers," said DiCiccio. </p></div>6/8/2017 7:00:00 AMMatthew Heil602-534-0108