Metropolitan Water Reclamation District FY2015 Tentative Budget: Analysis and Recommendations

December 10, 2014

The Civic Federation supports the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District’s tentative budget of $1.3 billion and praises the organization’s continued use of long-term financial planning to guide its operations and future projects. 

However, the Federation is concerned that the District’s FY2015 budget and five-year financial projections through FY2019 reflect annual maximum increases to its property tax levy at a time when other local governments are minimizing their property tax impact. The Civic Federation recognizes that the District faces significant challenges in funding its pensions and other costs. We encourage the District to balance this need with expenditure controls and other revenue sources rather than relying on automatic annual property tax increases as projected.

The MWRD Retirement Fund has slowly started to stabilize after the implementation of reforms passed in 2012. The actuarial value funded ratio of the District’s pension fund increased slightly to 54.1% funded in FY2013 after 15 years of steady decline. Though improved, this is still far from the optimum situation of 100% funded. The Federation supports a new goal passed by the MWRD Board of Commissioners to make pension contributions sufficient to achieve 100% funding by 2050.

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District’s Fiscal Year begins January 1, 2015 and ends December 31, 2015.   

Click here to read the press release for this analysis.