DETROIT (CBS DETROIT) – Detroit taxpayers could be asked if they want to contribute to the city’s retirees.

Council President Brenda Jones is asking the city’s pension board to explore putting a check-off box on tax forms to help retirees who took a hit during the Detroit bankruptcy proceedings reports WWJ’s Citybeat reporter Vickie Thomas.

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“Ask them to add a statement to the city and or state taxes, asking people if they would like to contribute to retirees,” said Jones.

Jones says they are also exploring the possibility of a foundation that could accept donations.

“To help with the restoration of the pensioners — pension, as well as to help fund the VEBA (Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association),” added Jones.

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In 2013, Detroit was struggling, crushed under billions of dollars in debt following decades of mismanagement, population flight and loss of tax revenue. The city lost a quarter-million residents between 2000 and 2010.

Detroit now has an estimated 700,000 residents; down from 1.8 million in the 1950s.

In December, the bankruptcy proceedings officially ended — after months of negotiations with banks, bond insurers, unions and groups representing thousands of retirees. Bolstered by the so-called “Grand Bargain” — a unique promise of $800 million from foundations, major corporations and the state to soften pension cuts and prevent the sale of city-owned art.

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Retirees who didn’t work for the police or fire departments can now expect to see a 4.5 percent pension cut and the elimination of annual cost-of-living payments under the agreement.