Yost to city: Use parking lease payment for pensions

Jun 24, 2013

The draft of a letter Ohio Auditor Dave Yost apparently plans to send to Cincinnati city officials says that they should consider using the "bulk" of the $92 million in up-front money from the parking lease agreement to help bolster the city's troubled pension system.

City council recently received a report saying the unfunded liability of the pension system had grown by another $133 million last year.

Yost - in a draft letter addressed to council members, Mayor Mark Mallory and City Manager Milton Dohoney – said  "with each passing year, the unfunded liability in the pension fund drains a greater percentage of the money the city needs to operate."

As the city's contribution to the pension fund continues to grow to cover prior years' shortfalls, "the city will have less and less money for operations and services," Yost said in the draft letter obtained by WVXU.

"There are only three possible cures at the city's disposal,'' Yost wrote."Full funding of the system, to stop the ever-increasing share of the operating budget needed to catch up from prior years; new sources of revenue, or further pension reform."

Neither Mallory nor Dohoney could be reached for comment.

Mike Mauer, a spokesman for Yost, said the letter obtained by WVXU was a draft and that there could be changes to the final version of the letter, which is likely to be sent out Tuesday.