- Associated Press - Saturday, December 31, 2016

HOUSTON (AP) - An audit shows that Houston is ending the year with a deficit for the first time in the history of the nation’s fourth-largest city.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Mayor Sylvester Turner attributes the $95 million deficit to the continued growth of the city’s pension obligations. Both Dallas and Houston are in deep pension troubles and will ask Texas lawmakers in 2017 to approve reforms.

The new audit puts pension underfunding in Houston at $7.7 billion as of June. That’s nearly double from 2014.

Turner says Houston remains “strong and vibrant” despite the numbers in the city’s annual audit. One reason for a drop in the net worth on paper is that new rules since 2015 require cities to report greater transparency of long-term pension obligations.

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Information from: Houston Chronicle, https://www.houstonchronicle.com

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