Peoria’s financial problems grew critical from the coronavirus, but the long-term threat of pension debt will remain even after more severe cuts are made.
Despite Gov. J.B. Pritzker touting growth in “every major region,” Illinois shed jobs in three metropolitan areas and lagged the national average in seven more.
The city of Peoria is adding a new fee to residents’ property tax bills to help shore up the city’s public safety pensions.
The city of Peoria’s decision to eliminate 22 firefighter and 16 police positions came after 27 layoffs earlier this year. Both decisions and a proposed $50-$300 fee are because pension spending is crowding out services.
According to a new report by Moody’s Investors Service, Illinois’ unfunded pension liabilities equaled 601 percent of state revenues in 2017, a U.S. record.
If lawmakers continue to balk at building the tools necessary to reform pensions, bankruptcy will be the only way out for communities across the state.
The city of Peoria, Illinois sent layoff notices to 27 employees in an effort to fill a budget hole caused by growing pension costs.
The average lifetime pension benefit among the county’s 20 highest-earning municipal retirees is more than $1.2 million, while their average total retirement contribution is less than $75,000.
In a shrinking state, half of Illinois’ largest cities have shed population since 2010.
Seven metro areas across the state lost jobs over the month.