Dixon City Council begins looking for fixes to looming public safety pension crisis

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DIXON, Illinois -- Dixon City Council held a special meeting Thursday on how to ward off an impending financial crisis in coming years as the city's police and firefighter pension liabilities continue to grow.

City Manager Danny Langloss presented a 16-page report analyzing the problem and presenting some potentially solutions at the city and state level.

"In five years, Dixon`s expenses will exceed our revenues, and that`s a major problem," Langloss said. "And that`s why we say that right now this isn`t a crisis, but in a few years it will become a crisis in Dixon," he said.

The city's total public safety pension payment for fiscal year 2019 is $1.7 million. That's expected to grow to $2.2 million by 2024.

Among the potential fixes, Langloss presented options from reducing staffing levels of the police and fire department or inserting one-time money into the Fire Pension Fund, to introducing a Public Safety Pension Real Estate Tax or Sales Tax Referendum.

While he said that none of these particular options would be ideal, it was critical for the city to start thinking about it now.

"We can’t sit back and wait for the state to fix this. There’s no magic bullet, but we’ve gotta come up with innovative and creative solutions locally," he said.

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