Jared Labell of Taxpayers United of America appeared on The Scott Horton Show to discusses his organization’s workshop seminars that train activists to submit FOIA requests on government workers’ pay and pensions. These enormous liabilities threaten to bankrupt some local and state governments, especially in Illinois. The next workshop is March 7th in Orlando, Florida.
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Chicago – Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner delivered his inaugural budget address before the General Assembly yesterday, focusing in part on the government pension debacle afflicting the state. Taxpayers United of America (TUA) has played a large role in publicizing this issue for nearly a decade, and yesterday’s media coverage is helping spread the message like never before.
Although not mentioned by name, Rauner was citing TUA’s research when he stated in his budget address, “As it stands right now, one out of every four dollars taken from taxpayers by the state goes into a system that is giving more than ELEVEN THOUSAND government retirees tax-free, six-figure pensions worth as much as, in one case, $450,000 per year!”
Rauner was referring specifically to TUA’s release April 30, 2014, “Illinois’ Top 200 Government Pensions: The New Millionaire’s Row,” listing the most lavish government pensions in Illinois as of April 1, 2014. TUA’s response to Rauner’s budget address yesterday can be found here.
Luckily, Gov. Rauner’s reference was not ignored, and ABC 7 Chicago followed up with a story yesterday evening, “Some Illinois retirees getting millions from taxpayers,” further investigating the top gold-plated government pensions in the state. A link with a PDF of our research can be found within their ABC 7 investigative report, as well as here.
TUA has forced the Illinois government pension fiasco into the spotlight and for good reason; the current government pension system is unsustainable. TUA’s website has been flooded with new visitors and taxpayers looking to become members, joining TUA in the fight for fiscal sanity in Illinois and reclaiming our economic future.
Taxpayer Education Foundation’s recent study on pensions was featured in a story by ABC 7 on the amounts of Illinois pension payouts.
CHICAGO (WLS) — The ABC7 I-Team has been looking into a mind-boggling statement made by the Gov. Bruce Rauner on Wednesday.
“One out of every four dollars taken from taxpayers by the state goes into a system that is giving more than $11,000 government retirees tax-free, six-figure pensions worth as much as, in one case, $450,000 per year,” Rauner said.
Government pensions in Illinois are tax-free by Illinois, one of the few states that does not tax government pensions. Federal taxes are not exempt. READ:Illinois’ top government pensions
The person receiving a $450,000 pension went unnamed, but the I-Team has learned he is a man named Tapas Das Gupta, a doctor retired from University of Illinois Chicago Hospital. Currently taxpayers are footing his annual pension of $452, 843, but what the governor didn’t mention is that the No. 2 top pensioner also makes about that much.
According to state pension records obtained by the I-Team, there are dozens of retired state workers with pensions of more than $200,000 per year, several at more than $300,000, and two atop the list at more than $400,000. The tax-free money is subsidized by taxpayers.
No. 1 is the UIC doctor, Tapas Das Gupta, a surgical oncologist schooled in Calcutta, India and who retired at 72.
Runner-up top state pensioner is Dr. Edward Abraham, a UIC orthopedic surgeon educated in Beruit, Lebanon, who retired at age 66 and receives a $439,000 a year pension.
Even as he receives that pension, Dr. Abraham has been hired back here at UIC part-time. It’s double dipping that is perfectly legal in Illinois and that other state pensioners take advantage of.
According to state records, Abraham is projected to receive more than $9 million in pension payouts from the State of Illinois during his retirement.
And there are dozens of retirees whose lifetime payouts are expected to be between $5 and $10 million.
The top-grossing state pensioner is expected to be a former kindergarten teacher, now retired school from his job as superintendent of Lincolnshire District 103, Larry K. Fleming. After retiring recently at age 55, Fleming is projected to receive $11, 535, 660 during the rest of his life.
Nearly all of the biggest state pensions are being paid to university medical doctors, local school administrators and teachers. In his speech Wednesday, the governor said those retirees- and all current state pensioners- will get everything they were promised, but that changes are needed for future state retirees.
Taxpayers United Of America: (TUA). is a nonpartisan, 501(c)(4) taxpayer advocacy group. Founded June 27, 1976 in Chicago, Illinois by activist and economist Jim Tobin, TUA works on behalf of taxpayers to reduce local, state, and federal taxes. In the past forty years, TUA has saved taxpayers more than $200 billion n taxes and has become one of the largest taxpayer organizations in America. Check All posts.
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