The state now covers nearly 40 percent of the $90 million annual pension expense . . . Even with the state assistance, the city in 2004 borrowed $100 million to help pay the pensions of police officers and firefighters hired before 1977. That loan will eventually increase taxes and will pay the obligation only through next year.
Do you understand the gravity of these numbers? Ten percent of the city's annual budget is needed to cover current pension expenses before we even begin to talk about the $400 million unfunded liability. Now, consider the fact that Mayor Peterson has given away more than $1 billion in public funds to subsidize private businesses since he took office (e.g., Lucas Oil Stadium, Conrad Hilton, Simon Headquarters, Eli Lilly, Rolls Royce, etc.). Let's not even discuss the $10 million for which the city has yet to find a source of funding to cover annual operating expenses for the Colts' new stadium in a couple of years. Or the more than $1 billion the city will need to fund sewer overflow control over the next decade.
So what does it all mean? Unless you and I cough up more of our hard-earned income to bail out the city within the next year or two, the city will be facing bankruptcy, unless parks are closed, hundreds of police and firefighters are laid off, street and sidewalk improvements are shelved and so on. The Mayor said as much himself during a WTHR-TV interview last week. Is this the kind of leadership we want for another four years?