Yesterday’s poll, May 25, 2010 asked: Since 2002 the Mariposa County PERS Retirement Costs have risen from $750,000 to?
With varying answers in dollar amounts.
The correct answer is $17,000,0000. Corrected to $19,000,000 like the Poll mentioned.
Updated: The $14,000,000 is the unfunded laiblity that the county has been letting build and build since about 2003.
Just before the current CAO came to the county the interim CAO had requested the county departments take a 10% cut, thus saving the county $2,000,000. He was going to apply that amount of money to the unfunded liability which was then at around $10,000,000. The new CAO Rick Benson felt that it was a better use of the money to stick the money in reserves so no money of that $2,000,000 was applied to the then $10,000,000. How did this unfunded liability keep growing? CalPERS requested the money from the county, the county did not pay it and CalPERS charges 7.75% annual interest on the money.
In just a few short years the PERS payment has skyrocketed from $750,000 to $17,000,000. $19,000,000
So the county that is not in “Dire Straits” according to Supervisor Janet Bibby apparently cannot pay their current bills and has financed $14,000,000 to your children.
Supposedly the county has entered into a CalPERS Fresh Start program that will pay off $14,000,000 over twenty years at 7.75%. That is a projected payoff of $27,000,000. The payment to pay that amount of money off would be almost $1,300,000 annually for the twenty years. The funny thing is, when we asked the current Auditor, Chris Ebie last week he said he had no idea about the ‘Fresh Start’ program and produced numbers that predict the CalPERS increase for the next budget year (2010-2011) increasing by around $200,000.
So the question is how do you pay off $14,000,000 when your payment only increases by $200,000? CAO Rick Benson is confident that it is being paid. But another funny thing is that when this item was before the Board a year ago or so, the debt was at $13,000,000. And now in a meeting a few weeks ago Mr. Benson mentioned that it is now at $14,000,000.
Updated: Chris Ebie contacted me and said he knows all about the Fresh Start Program and said that I misunderstood him when we were talking about the Fresh Start Program. He also said that the county is paying into the Fresh Start Program.
Updated: More numbers: The PERS payment for 2008-2009 was $4,955,538
The PERS payment for 2009-2010 is so far $5,231,376 This was the First Year of the PERS Fresh Start Program and the payment went up around $275,000. The Projected payment for 2010-2011 is $5,450,000 a rise of around $220,000.
Ask your Supervisor if this debt is being paid and have him or her produce some actual numbers for you that prove it.