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Pension Panic In Paradise: Maui Residents Outraged Over 52% Spike In Pension Contributions

Earlier this year, Maui County residents in the island state of Hawaii were somewhat less than ecstatic to learn that their property taxes were going to increase by approximately $29.7 million for fiscal 2018.  According to County Council member statements at the time, the additional funding was needed to help provide better public services for Maui residents.

That said, fast forward just a few months and it looks like a substantial portion of those tax increases won't go to provide better public services for Maui residents at all but rather will be plowed into the state's massively underwater pension fund.  As The Maui News points out today, Maui's contributions to the state Employees’ Retirement System will surge 52% over just the next couple of years...and that's if everything goes to plan.

“This is a massive, massive increase,” Williams said.

 

Maui County paid $31 million into the pension fund in fiscal 2017. But now, its payments will increase to approximately $34 million in fiscal 2018, $36 million in fiscal 2019, $42 million in fiscal 2020 and $47 million in fiscal 2021.

 

This amounts to a total of $36 million in extra payments by Maui County over the next four years alone — and its contributions are set to remain just as high every year afterward.

 

Williams said the extra payments were needed to help the public pension system avert a crisis in unfunded liabilities, currently estimated at about $12.4 billion.

Meanwhile, as we've pointed out multiple times before, the victims of Hawaii's ponzi failure will inevitably be the kids as funding gets diverted from public schools and into the pockets of a few retired public employees.

Williams is correct that the increased payments will help the state pay down its unfunded liabilities and return to being able to meet its current obligations to state and county employee retirees. But a new crisis has begun — the crisis of taxpayers feeling the pressure to bail out the system.

 

Williams acknowledged that the counties would be under more financial pressure.

 

“We know over time it really crowds out other goods and social services that are required, whether it’s education or roads or hospitals, or you name it,” he said. “There are limited revenues available, and these are commitments that have been made and need to be paid.”

But, maybe there's a better way...we happen to know of a guy who recently paid $100 million for a large chunk of Kauai and is eager to settle a dispute with locals over his massive border wall (see: Protesters Plot "Border Wall" Rally For Tomorrow...At Zuckerberg's Sprawling $100mm Hawaiian Estate)...perhaps a 1x gift to the Hawaii retirement ponzi is the perfect solution?