A parade of mayors visited the state Legislature on Monday to share their concerns about rising pension costs and balancing their own city’s finances with lawmakers.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg avoided directly criticizing Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s pension rate plan for local governments, which would reduce near-term employer payments but require higher contributions in later years, but said the city doesn’t postpone pension costs as a general policy.
“Postponing down the road, with expenses that you have every year, is not a good policy,” he said. “Some years, investment returns can be negative, and that can happen when pension costs go up.”
Rochester Mayor Thomas Richards said he was open to studying the budget proposal, while Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner was more apprehensive in her testimony, asking whether her city would actually end up saving money if it defers its payments.
“The near-term savings are calculated on events in the future that may not occur,” she said during her testimony. “I am concerned that in the first five years of this plan, we may be financing another liability that we may not be able to pay.”