Houston maintains, by law, three separate pension funds for its employees; one for firemen, one for cops and one for all other municipal employees. By 2020, the unfunded liability of these pension funds is expected to reach $5.3 billion. Throw in some 2004-2009 pension obligation bonds and it’s roughly $6 billion.
As Bill King reports in The Houston Chronicle:
To put that in some perspective, the total bond debt the city has accumulated in the course of its entire history for everything we have built (italics ours), such as streets, water plants, airports, libraries, police and fire stations and parks, is only about $12 billion. In less than a generation, we will have run up half the debt on pension obligations it took our forefathers to incur in 175 years of building this city.
The rest of the bad news is here.
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