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Happytown: New pension fund law could cost local governments

Counties could have to cough up $264 million to help stabilize deficit in Florida Retirement System Pension Fund

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“If he had said rates were going up, it wouldn’t have just been me voting against it,” Fasano told the Times. “It’s hypocritical that the Legislature and governor say they don’t want tax increases but are pushing a bill through the back door that would require a tax increase on the local level.”

At least one county – Pinellas – is already indicating that it will consider a property tax hike to cover the expense, while others are scrambling to carve out millions from their struggling budgets. Here in Orange County, leaders don’t expect to have to bend too hard to cover our $10.5 million portion of the $900 million hole. The county, according to Randy Singh, the manager of the county’s Office of Management and Budget, will offset the cost with some of its $14.5 million in surplus funding. (The city of Orlando manages its own pensions, so the bill has no effect.)

“Obviously, we would have preferred for the rates to be lower, but fortunately, the county is in a healthy financial state to withstand this increase without any tax increase,” Singh says. Obviously.

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