Pro-Income Tax Increase AARP Event Flops

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Oak Park-The “Illinois Tax Solutions Forum” presented by AARP, which is staunchly supporting the graduated income tax increase amendment, was a complete flop.

“Very few people were there,” said Val Zimnicki, Taxpayers United of America (TUA) Director of Outreach. “Even with the Full-Page ad in the Chicago Sun Times, I counted only 33 people.”  

“I am glad the event flopped,” said Jim Tobin, TUA President. “Not only did AARP present the debate, they also actively participated in it and sided against taxpayers. The fact that tax thieves are starting to peddle propaganda so early indicates their desperation.”  

“Two years ago, Illinois passed a $5 billion dollar income tax increase that went exclusively to paying lavish government pensions. Now Springfield, led by Governor Pritzker is coming back for more. Illinoisans will have the opportunity on Tuesday November 3, 2020 to tell these greedy politicians that enough is enough.”

Tax Increases Fail To Fend Off Kankakee Government Pension Woes

KANKAKEE–Taxpayer Education Foundation (TEF) today released its updated study on Kankakee municipal and County government pensions, including the top 200 pensions in the Teachers Retirement System (TRS), Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF), and the State University Retirement System (SURS). Taxpayers United of America(TUA) issued the following statement based on the TEF pension study:

“Kankakee taxpayers are among the hardest hit in Illinois,” said Val Zimnicki, TUA Director of Outreach. “With an effective property tax rate of 1.91%, Kankakee County ranks 189 out of 3143 nationally.”

“There’s really no mystery as to the cause of the high property tax rates. In a word: Pensions. Kankakee municipal and Kankakee County government pensions are funded with property taxes.”

“That’s why it matters to us that people like Michael Downey double dip from taxpayers. Mr. Downey retired from the Kankakee Sheriff’s Department at the age of 53 and was then appointed to replace the retiring Sheriff. His $92,216 annual pension will accumulate to more than $2.8 million over a normal lifetime. Add to that his six-figure salary and you’ve got taxpayers footing the bill for this extravagant expenditure.”

“The city of Kankakee increased the sales tax by two full percentage points specifically to fund the IMRF pensions. And that’s just the IMRF funding. Kankakee police and fire pensions are literally in dire straits. They are funded only 27% and 17%, respectively.”

·Click here to see the top 200 Kankakee area TRS pensions.

·Click here to see the top 200 Kankakee municipal and county IMRF pensions

·Click here to see the top 200 Kankakee area SURS pensions

“The entire local and statewide pension system in Illinois is unsustainable. The other five statewide pension funds are funded partly by the state income tax. Democrat Governor Jay Robert ‘J. B.’ Pritzker and his tax-raising cronies want to stick it to middle class taxpayers by increasing the income tax under the guise of a ‘more fair’ graduated income tax, so they can make it through the next election cycle. When the state goes under, they will be enjoying their retirements in Arizona or Florida.”

“Middle-class Kankakee taxpayers would be decimated by the Pritzker income-tax hike if it passes. There is nothing fair about his ‘fair tax’ that will, by design, siphon even more wealth out of the pockets of the middle-class. And his tax increases won’t stop there as we’ve seen with the latest gargantuan gasoline tax hike.”

“When you look at what the individual government retirees are actually collecting in taxpayer-funded pensions, you get a better idea of why this theft of taxpayer wealth is so egregious. Keep in mind that the average taxpayer will collect only about $17,500 a year from Social Security, and that most IMRF pensioners are also eligible for a Social Security pension.”

Michael J. Kick retired from Kankakee County at the age of 55. He currently collects $112,305 a year in pension payments. His contributions to his own pension total $81,845. Assuming he lives to 85, he will collect $2,917,835. Michael is also eligible for a social security pension

Kay Green retired from Kankakee School District 111 at the age of 61. She will collect $154,379 in pension payments this year and $3,366,141 over a normal lifetime.

Larry Huffman retired from Kankakee Community College at the age of 54. He paid $157,199 into SURS and will collect $4,418,316 in estimated lifetime pension payments.

“Illinois is functionally bankrupt, and the cause is runaway government employee pensions with unfunded liabilities so huge that it is mathematically impossible for the state to tax their way out of this financial black hole.”

“All Illinois government new hires should be placed in a 401(k) style retirement savings account, beginning immediately, and the retirement age should be increased to 65. These measures would at least stop the bleeding until comprehensive pension reform can be enacted.”


school TUA

CHICAGO—The Chicago Board of Education can help homeowners avoid another massive property tax increase by shedding thousands of teachers, according to the president of one of the country’s largest taxpayer organizations.

“Laying-off a few thousand teachers and increasing class size would greatly help balance the books,” said Jim Tobin, President of Taxpayers United of America (TUA).

For the 2018-2019 school year, CPS reported 37,375 staff positions including 21,334 teachers and 511 principals.

“Private schools have traditionally had larger class sizes than government schools, and they have done a much better job of educating their students,” said Tobin. “The teachers’ union wants to decrease class size in order to make more teaching positions necessary. It’s a power grab, and the added teachers will not increase student achievement.”

“In addition to larger class sizes, overpaid physical education teachers should be among the first to go. Gym, art and music classes should be made optional, so that only those students with the necessary talent can take advantage of them.”

“Study after study has established that there is no appreciable correlation between class size and academic achievement. For example, in 2018 the Campbell Collaboration, a Norwegian research group reviewed 127 studies on class size. Their research shows that small class sizes had little to no improvement to student performance.”

“The class-size myth is perpetuated by the union bosses and their legislative cronies to increase the number of union jobs for both teachers and laborers. It is a scam to extract even more taxpayer wealth from the pockets of the middle class,” said Tobin.

“Chicago homeowners can’t afford another property tax increase in order to inflate teacher-union membership. It’s time to lay-off several thousand teachers and increase class size. This would be a significant step toward stabilizing city and CPS finances.”