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“The inept, hard-left and union-owned administration of Ill. Gov. Jay Robert ‘J. B.’ Pritzker (D) continues to run the once-great State of Illinois into the ground,” said Jim Tobin, economist and president of Taxpayers United of America (TUA). “While Pritzker and his Springfield goons plot to hit taxpayers with more tax increases, a new report by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) ranks Illinois near the bottom with respect to unfunded pension liabilities for retired government employees.”

The council’s annual publication looks at each state’s unfunded government pension liabilities. ALEC ranked Illinois 49th in terms of the total liability and also per capita amount at $31,980 per person.

“Last year, Illinois taxpayers were funding million-dollar pension payouts for 148,654 retired government employees,” said Tobin. “That number for our 15th annual pension study issued by our Taxpayer Education Foundation (TEF) has since climbed to 151,391.”

“You can’t even raise taxes high enough in many cases to pay for the unfunded liabilities because what will happen then, the higher you raise tax rates, the more outmigration, certainly something Illinois has suffered over recent decades,” said Jonathan Williams, ALEC chief economist.

“TEF has and does advocate pension reforms,” said Tobin, included but not limited to,

  • Placing all new government hires into a defined contribution account as opposed to the current defined benefit system.
  • Immediately discontinuing the automatic cost of living adjustment and making promises only to increase cost of living adjustments in alignment with current financial conditions.
  • Removing all of the loopholes that allow salary spiking during the last years of employment on which pension calculations are made.



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“Illinois has some of the highest gasoline prices in the country, and these prices are going to be even more outrageous in July, thanks to Ill. Gov. Jay Robert ‘J. B.’ Pritzker,” said Jim Tobin, economist and president of Taxpayers United of America (TUA).

A recent report shows that gasoline prices are the highest they’ve been since July 2019, when the state gasoline tax doubled to 38 cents. At that time, lawmakers put in place an automatic gas tax hike tied to inflation.

According to the website GasBuddy, Illinois has the sixth-highest average gas prices and the highest in the Midwest by far.

The price of a gallon of gas in Illinois averages around $3.30 a gallon. In nearby Missouri, gas averages around $2.80 a gallon.

The state gas tax hike in 2019 cost the average motorist about $100 more a year, according to an Illinois Policy Institute analysis.

“The Springfield Democrats doubled the gas tax for ‘necessary’ repair of roads and bridges, but the Illinois Policy Institute found at least $1.4 billion of pork spending, including funding for swimming pools and pickleball courts,” said Tobin.

The impact is felt even more by lower-income homes in Illinois. Many of the lowest income households in the country spend nearly one-fifth of their income on gasoline, three times more than the average U.S. household, according to an analysis by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

“Jay Robert Pritzker is the worst governor in the history of Illinois,” said Tobin, “and considering some of the losers Illinois has had as governor, that’s quite an achievement. It’s debatable whether Illinois can survive his hard-left, union-bought administration.”



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Chicago-A report by Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas, covered by the Chicago Tribune, has some very sobering insights regarding local taxes. The first insight is that Cook County property taxes rose 3 times the rate of inflation, indicating increasingly higher property taxes imposed by local government. The second insight is that the demographic category that pays the highest proportional property taxes consists of minority communities. To quote the Tribune, the heaviest weight, meanwhile, falls mostly on “less thriving areas with predominantly minority populations and less broad tax bases.” Finally, the Tribune correctly identifies that the primary driver of these higher property taxes as government-employee pensions.

“The Pappas report and the article from the Tribune are both insightful on their own, but when combined with the Taxpayer Education Foundation’s 15th annual Illinois Pension Report, you see a very intriguing narrative forming,” said Matthew Schultz, Executive Director of Taxpayers United of America (TUA). “The report, which has been republished on the TUA website, publishes the names and pensions from the six statewide pension funds for everyone to see.

“Property taxes are going higher, with an undue burden on minority taxpayers. Taxpayer dollars fund a growing elite of mostly white, millionaire retired government employees.”

“As a result, the failed Illinois government pension system is, by some standards, racist.”

“Illinois Governor Jay Robert ‘J. B.’ Pritzker has vowed to fight for justice and equity, but his lack of action has shown to be anything but. In fact, Pritzker’s hell-bent determination to take from minority taxpayers to fund lavish government pensions flies in the face of fairness.”

“Take, for example, Pritzker’s attempt to raise income taxes on the middle class with his proposed tax increase amendment. The sole purpose of the amendment was to take from the Illinois middle class for the sake of government employee pensions. What must be understood though, is that the middle class that Pritzker and his cronies wanted to leach from is growing more racially diverse, and the tax amendment  would have hurt their upward economic mobility.  Pritzker’s tax hike proposal could be seen an attack on wealth accumulation against minorities for the benefit of white government pension millionaires.”

“If Pritzker wants to fight institutional racism and not potentially support it, Pritzker needs to urge the general assembly to pass a pension reform amendment. With it, we can cancel government employee pensions as they are, and reform them to be much more equitable for taxpayers and the floundering state budget. With reform, more resources can be put to developing areas left behind the most, and give taxpayers of all colors the break they deserve.”