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Aguirre: Higher Taxes Will Fund Millions in ‘Illegal’ Pension Benefits


San Diego's city attorney is painting a bleak future for taxpayers if the city doesn't roll back hundreds of millions of dollars in pension benefits. A state judge disqualified Mike Aguirre's lawsuit last week, after ruling it was filed too late. KPBS reporter Andrew Phelps has more details.

Maybe you've heard these pension stories and ask yourself, “Why should I care?”

City Attorney Mike Aguirre says this is why:

Aguirre : The people of San Diego, in fact, will have to pay a 20-year tax in order to pay for the $800 million in illegal pension benefits that were created by our city council.

Aguirre uses the word “tax” creatively. He says he really means hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts to city services. But Aguirre says San Diegans won't be able to stand that for more than a few years, so the city will have to raise new taxes.

There's an alternative, he says. Council members could vote to roll back those benefits for city workers.

But the city council refuses, and now a superior court judge says they don't have to. The mayor's office insists there won't be any new taxes.

Andrew Phelps, KPBS News.

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