Many Massachusetts residents know that public pension liabilities pose a serious fiscal threat. The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation reminds everyone that the unfunded retiree health care liabilities of cities and towns, which now stands at $30 billion, is more than double the unfunded pension liability.
The cost of pensions, health care and debt is squeezing out funding for other municipal services and causing cities and towns to lay off workers, according to a report by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. The foundation found that municipal spending on those three budget-busting areas jumped 23 percent from 2007 to 2012, while spending on everything else went up only 10 percent.
A taxpayer oversight group warned cities and towns face “a long-term budget squeeze” threatening to overtake efforts by municipal budget makers in Lynn, Marblehead and other communities to balance property tax money with careful spending on health care, pensions and debt.