JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville’s City Council is weighing a few options to pay down the city’s $1.5 billion unfunded pension liability.
“I don’t see any other option available,” says Councilman Bill Gulliford, who recently ended his term as Council President. “We can’t just leave that unfunded liability out there. It’ll bankrupt us.”
He says the options he’s seen are all “crummy,” but the “least crummy” of them all is a sales tax increase.
“At least with a sales tax, you spread it over not only the property owners, but everybody else that uses police and fire service, as well as some people outside the county,” Gulliford says.
He believes the Mayor’s plan would ultimately lead to a higher JEA bill for most of Duval, and he’s opposed to a property tax increase.
“There’s no easy answer,” he says. “It’s very, very difficult.”
But he says the council has come to the realization that they must put the issue to bed.
A tax increase would have to be voted on by the city. Gulliford says it could come up on next year’s city election ballot.