Pension costs for Quincy police and fire are expected to rise by $3 million over the next six years and that has local officials concerned about how the city is going to pay for the increase.
Everytime someone hits it big on one of Quincy's video gaming machines, a portion of the money is going into Quincy's fire and police pension fund.
"We are using video game revenue, green energy funds, hopefully there will be some cannabis money coming in and online sales tax revenue," said Quincy 2nd Ward Alderman Jeff Bergman.
However, city leaders say over the next year they expect gaming machine revenue to plateau, the first time since the city first allowed video gaming back in 2012.
If we're not seeing more money from video gaming that will affect the amount of money going into the city's pension fund.
"If we are going to fund this at the proper level, to get ahead of the curve and maintain the funding that we have to because it is an obligation, there's really only one answer; there's going to have to be a new tax," said Bergman.
At Monday's city council meeting, Bergman started this discussion by saying the city will be paying $7.1 million in police and fire pensions this year and a projected $10 million by the year 2025.
"This is the elephant in the room," said Bergman. "It's a cost that's not going away."
Bergman says the problem doesn't solely lie on local entities. Pension costs are rising at a state level.
"Until it changes on the state level and there are two tiers of pension funding programs, it's really never going to change," said Bergman. "A lot of people sit there and say we need to have everyone hired after a certain date as a 401K plan, everyone else is grandfathered in but until that changes this is the system we have to deal with."
Bergman says the mayor has agreed to incorporate pension talks into his town halls scheduled for next year.
Bergman also suggested forming a specialized committee that looks specifically at pensions and how the city can fund them.