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Bankrupt Miami in Fiscal Emergency, Breaks Employee Contracts, Hikes Property Taxes

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
Business Insider
Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Miami is bankrupt. Unfortunately the city refuses to admit it.

In an enormously foolhardy attempt to make ends meet, in spite of the fact that Miami home prices have been hammered and 1-in-8 are unemployed, the County keeps pouring on the painful tax and fee increases.

Miami Breaks Employee Contracts

Inquiring minds are reading Broke City Breaking Employee Contracts

The city of Miami is so broke it’s forcing employees to take pay cuts, even though they’re under contract. Mayor Tomas Regalado said he’s never seen a financial mess like this before, and his options are grim.

“It’s either that or we layoff 1,000 employees or we raise taxes to the max, and we’re not raising taxes to the max,” the mayor said.

Mish Comment: If you are looking for one of the most disingenuous comments in history there you have it. The only reason it is not a blatant lie is the ending phrase “to the max”. Regalado is clearly incompetent and needs to be removed.

The city is operating under a state of “fiscal urgency,” declared earlier this summer. The budget deficit for next fiscal year is about $110 million. The proposed cuts in salary, pension contributions and health insurance costs amounts to about $86 million in savings for the city.

That fiscal urgency declaration allows city commissioners to impose salary cuts on employees, despite their contracts.

Charlie Cox, who represents about 1,100 general service workers, said employees with valuable knowledge will retire or find work elsewhere. “We’re going to have a ton of people leave the city and the institutional knowledge will be gone,” he said.

Mish Comment: Hello Charlie. Good luck in finding jobs with excessive benefits in this market. Hell, you don’t need luck you need a miracle.

Good riddance, the sooner you leave the better Miami will be. Every position vacated will be a gain to the city.

Miami’s police officers, firefighters and other union workers are all expected to choke down cuts. One police union official said the Fraternal Order of Police will sue the city if the cuts are imposed.

Mish Comment: It is the right of the FOP to file a lawsuit. I hope they do. The correct response for the city would be to immediately declare bankruptcy so the overpaid union clowns can see just what benefits they get in bankruptcy court, ideally nothing.

Hell, the correct response is for Miami to declare bankruptcy now, whether the FOP is stupid and arrogant enough to sue or not. Miami is bankrupt, and the sooner the mayor and city council admit it the better.

Full story here.

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