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Taxpayers Fight Two Property Tax Increase Referendums On The April 2 Ballot

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Chicago – Taxpayers United of America (TUA) is working with taxpayers in Hinsdale Twp. HSD 86 and Barrington CUSD 220 to defeat property tax increase referenda in the upcoming April 2 election.

Click here to download the Hinsdale HSD 86 Vote No flyer

Click here to download the Barrington CUSD 220 Vote No flyer

“Both of these districts are pushing massive property tax increases that just aren’t necessary,” according to Jim Tobin, TUA president. “They want to fund wasteful and excessive building projects when Illinois and its individual communities are shrinking in population. People are leaving the state in droves, and here are two more governments that don’t care why: excessively high property taxes.”

Hinsdale HSD 86 has placed a $140 million bond issue on the April 2 ballot. Hinsdale voters soundly defeated a $166 million bond in last October’s election and yet another property tax increase for $76 million in bonds in 2017.

“It seems that Hinsdale HSD 86 bureaucrats are determined to waste even more taxpayer dollars by putting a third referendum on the ballot in as many years, despite dwindling enrollments,” said Tobin.

Hinsdale HSD 86 has seen its enrollment drop steadily over the last six years with a net decrease of about 224 students. One major cause in the enrollment drop is that Illinois has one of the highest rates of out-migration.

“The government hacks running Hinsdale HSD 86 haven’t made any budget cuts but expect taxpayers to take another pay-cut to fund the district’s excessive wish-list of construction projects. They pretend to make cuts, in an effort to hurt parents who voted down the referenda, but all of their phony cuts will be restored if this measure passes. There is not one permanent or meaningful spending cut!”

“The district could argue that they need money for safety and security updates, but that spending category only accounts for about $3.9 million of the $140 million they have put on the ballot. They have neglected to provide basic maintenance on facilities and now expect taxpayers to hand over millions of taxpayer dollars to correct their mismanagement.”

Barrington CUSD 220 has placed a $185 million property tax increase referendum on the April 2 ballot. Barrington CUSD 220 has also seen a steady decline in enrollment is are responsible for educating about 214 fewer students.

“CUSD 220 saw revenues increase .31% in the 2017/2018 school year and yet increased spending by 4.57%…on a dwindling student census.”

“Barrington bureaucrats are hitting taxpayers up for $185 million this year but this is only a down-payment on their 20 year pipe-dream plan of fleecing taxpayers out of $500 million for building projects.”

“They want $5.3 million for safety and security and don’t even create an annual budget for these improvements. That’s just remarkable.”

“Hinsdale HSD 86 and Barrington CUSD 220 share more than just similar demographics; they share a complete lack of regard for the taxpayers who must fund them. Both have let facilities deteriorate over the years without adequate planning or budgeting.”

“Worse than their complete lack of fiscal planning is their ignorance of how taxpayer funded operations work. Every time they plan a pay raise, benefit increase, instructional spending increase, etc., taxpayers must take a pay cut to fund it. If taxes go up $100 a year per taxpayer, every taxpayer has $100 less to spend on his or her wants and needs. So yes, every time they get more money to spend, we have less. And they really don’t care.”

“Government school bureaucrats want hundreds of millions more in taxpayer dollars to build lavish offices that are occupied only about 8 total months a year.”

“Neither of these affluent districts have made any cuts to spending. Why should they? They just put a property tax increase referendum on the ballot and cry about how it’s “for the children.”

“80% of local taxes go to fund government-employee salaries and benefits. So once you get past that spending, it starts being about the children. I urge everyone in these districts to vote No on April 2 and demand the government bureaucrats to cut spending, not increase it.”

“We have defeated 431 property tax increase referendums since I founded the organization in 1976. I can’t wait to add two more taxpayer victories to that number.”

TAXPAYERS MUST RESIST PRITZKER’S DISASTROUS TAX-INCREASE PLANS

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Springfield—Last week, Ill. Gov. Jay Robert “J. B.” Pritzker (D) fired the opening salvo in his war on Illinois working families.

In a state that spent over a billion dollars more then it took in last year, Pritzker has decided to give pay raises to 20,000 Illinois government employees. This pay raise has been estimated to cost Illinois Taxpayers an additional TWO HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS annually. In addition, Pritzker signed a bill that placed even more government regulation on Illinois gun dealers. This legislation has already inflicted casualties amongst the firearms industry, with other small business to follow suit.

“If this is just the first week, then I hate to see what the entire term will look like,” said Jim Tobin, President of Taxpayers United of America (TUA). “Then again, this wasn’t unexpected. Pritzker is the only gubernatorial candidate I can think of that came into power promising to tax the hell out of people. Illinois taxpayers need to push back against this guy, who thinks he’s Santa Claus to government employees.”

Despite claims from J.B.’s election website that “I have plans to put Illinois back on the side of working families,” the reality shows Pritzker will do anything but. On the agenda is either a Vehicle Miles Traveled Tax (VMT) that may force a government tracker into private vehicles or a 30 cent per gallon increase in the state gasoline tax. Both of these taxes will disproportionately hurt both middle and lower-class commuters, as the tax will steal a larger percent of their limited budget.

Another anti-working-family tax measure is the Pritzker Amendment, a graduated state income tax increase on the Illinois Middle-class. Despite lofty statements made by Pritzker like, “The vast majority of the people in the state of Illinois should get an income tax break,” and, “The wealthiest people in the state can afford to pay a little bit more,”  the political reality is completely different. HB 3522, a bill designed by members of Pritzker’s political party, is an example of legislation that can be passed if the amendment is ratified. Such a bill could raise the income tax payment made by a middle class taxpayer earning $40,000 by 16.44%. Thankfully, the flat income tax prevents such assaults against the middle class and those aspiring to better their station in life.

J.B. Pritzker is locked in a fight against the Illinois middle and lower class, with the spoils of war going to benefit another class, the government class. That is why it is important to contact your local state representative and senator who can be found here: https://www.illinoispolicy.org/maps/ and tell him or her to resist these anti-taxpayer measures. Otherwise they may join with Governor Santa Claus in making Illinois a worse place to live.

Tell Ill. Senate Republican Leader: Don’t Conspire with Democrats!

Minority Leader of the Illinois Senate
Bill Brady

Springfield—Illinois Senate Republican leader Bill Brady so far has refused to oppose a massive 30 cent per gallon increase in the Illinois gasoline tax.

“This is ridiculous,” stated lifelong taxpayer advocate and President of Taxpayers United of America, Jim Tobin. “Less then two years ago Democrats held Illinois hostage for a five billion dollar income tax increase. Now the senate Republican leader doesn’t want to oppose Democrats who want to pass a two billion dollar increase to the gas tax? Refusing to stand in the way of this massive tax hike on poor and middle class taxpayers is a massive betrayal.”

“It’s not too late for him to change his mind,” continued Jim Tobin. “All it might take are some everyday taxpayers to remind Senator Brady that it is taxpayers, not empty CTA buses that matter. That is why I urge taxpayers to contact this senator, and remind him that he has a duty to the people to resist Springfield Tax Raisers.”

If you want to tell  Senator Bill Brady to oppose this TWO BILLION DOLLAR gasoline tax increase, you can find his contact information at the Illinois General Assembly website here: http://www.ilga.gov/senate/Senator.asp?MemberID=2542 or call his office at (309) 664-4440.

Rockford Property Taxes Going Up to Fund Gov. Pensions!

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Rockford, IL – Taxpayer Education Foundation (TEF) today released its updated study on Rockford-area 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). Based on the TEF pension study, Taxpayers United of America (TUA) issued the following statement:

“IMRF pensions, largely kept afloat by property taxes of homeowners and businesses, hit Rockford taxpayers particularly hard. Rockford is right up there with New York and New Jersey. With the fourth highest property taxes in the entire country, Rockford is especially burdened by an effective tax rate of 2.83%,” said Jim Tobin, president of TUA.

“For many homeowners, this means that their property taxes meet or exceed their actual mortgage payment, although this is financially detrimental to every property owner in Rockford.”

“We have passed the point where the government bureaucrats who made these outrageous promises can tax their way out of the problem, although they will try their damndest. This is why Springfield Democrats have put on the 2020 statewide ballot the Income Tax Increase Amendment.

Cook County machine Democrat, Gov. Jay Robert “J. B.” Pritzker and his buddy, Chicago Machine Boss, Michael J. Madigan, Democrat Speaker of the Illinois House, are hoping to keep propping up the pension system by increasing the income tax under the guise of a ‘more fair’ graduated state income tax.”

“I guarantee that the middle class will be hit the hardest by the Income Tax Increase Amendment, as well as all of the new and higher taxes they are implementing.”

  • Click here to see the top 200 Rockford TRS pensions
  • Click here to see the top 200 Rockford and Winnebago County IMRF pensions
  • Click here to see the top Rockford SURS pensions

“Rockford taxpayers, because of their comparatively high property tax rate, will be hit harder by the Pritzker Income Tax Increase Amendment than most Illinoisans.”

“When you look at what the individual government retirees are actually collecting in taxpayer funded pensions, you can 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 IMRF pensioners are also eligible for a Social Security pension.”

Paul A. Logil retired from the Winnebago County government and collects an annual pension of $168,424. He retired at the age of 55 and paid $224,614 into the IMRF. His estimated lifetime pension payout is approximately $4,329,741. Paul is also eligible for a social security pension.

Alan S. Brown retired from Rockford SD205 at the age of 55. His current annual pension is $183,329. He paid only $175,892 into TRS and his estimated lifetime payout is $5,321,315.

Karl Jacobs retired from Rock Valley College. His current annual pension of $179,592 is more than the $159,281 he paid into SURS. His estimated lifetime pension payout is $2,833,620.

“What is most troubling about the pension crisis is that none of the elected bureaucrats are willing to do anything to fix the problem. Speaker Madigan obviously is hoping to prop this system up just long enough for him to retire, and escape all responsibility for the financial demise of Illinois.

“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 slow the bleeding until comprehensive pension reform can be enacted,” said Tobin.

13th Annual Illinois Pension Report

Pension Release

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Report Overview

Retired Government Employees Receiving $100,000+ Annually

Chicago — Taxpayer Education Foundation (TEF) today released the results of its 13th annual Illinois state pensions report. This new report analyzes government-retiree pensions of Illinois’ General Assembly Retirement System (GARS), Judges’ Retirement System (JRS), Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS), State Universities Retirement System (SURS), state employees’ retirement system (SERS), and the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF). The report demonstrates that the Pritzker administration has allowed the Illinois pension crisis to worsen.

The unfunded government pension liabilities Springfield politicians placed on the shoulders of Illinois taxpayers have grown. The amount liabilities grew was over $2.1 billion, bringing the new total to $143,593,104,031 for 2019. Keep in mind that these are the numbers the state of Illinois has issued. Moody’s estimates the Illinois pension liabilities to be roughly $100 billion higher.

One look at these gargantuan pensions illustrates why the situation is deteriorating. Leslie Heffez retired from the university of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) at the age of 55. His current annual pension is a mind-boggling $616,624. This former government employee is the first person in the six major Illinois pension funds to rake in over $600,000 a year. Heffez is on track to receive $21,093,181 by the time he is 85, thanks to a 3 percent compounded cost of living adjustment (COLA) Illinois Gov. Jay Robert “J. B.” Pritzker declines to do anything about.

The compounded cola is the most dangerous part of the Illinois pension scam. The three percent cola can double a single government pension in 24 years. This happens often because the average Illinois government employee retires at 61. The IRS estimates that for a person 65 years of age, his estimated life expectancy is 85. We can expect many government pensions to double by that age.

A central figure responsible for the pension crisis is former Illinois governor James R. Thompson (R), one of the worst tax-raisers in Illinois history. Thompson also retired at age 55 and currently receives an annual pension of $161,152. Thompson was one of the key members of the state government who started the pension crisis. If not for his 3 percent compounded cost of living increase for retired Illinois government employees, the crisis would not be as bad as it is.

An example of the crisis worsening is how the number of millionaire government retirees is growing. There are now 2,572 more government retirees receiving over $100,000 compared to last year. This brings the new total to 22,053 retired government employees receiving over $100,000 a year.

Additionally, there are now 111,809 Illinois government pensioners collecting more than $50,000 in taxpayer funded payments yearly. This is an increase of 4,717 from last year, that total being 107,092. The average annual social security pension for taxpayers in 2019 is $17,532.

The taxes to support these outrageous Illinois government pensions are driving taxpayers out of Illinois. Almost all of the last $5 billion-dollar income tax increase was used to prop up the state pension funds. This is why Illinois governor Pritzker wants to pass the graduated income tax increase amendment, a huge income tax increase for Illinois taxpayers. Instead of seeking pension reform, Pritzker wants another massive income tax hike.

There is no reason to believe this amendment will only affect the “rich.” Pritzker passed a multibillion-dollar regressive tax increase including the recent 19 cent Illinois gasoline tax hike. It is estimated that Pritzker’s gasoline tax will extract from Illinois taxpayers $1.2 billion dollars more a year. These taxes affect Illinois’ most struggling residents disproportionately. There is every reason to believe that future tax hikes planned by Springfield politicians will affect the state’s middle class, and will be used to further prop up the state’s lavish, gold-plated pensions for retired government employees. 

Rather than placing more taxes on the backs of the state’s most vulnerable citizens, and plotting to increase taxes on the state’s middle class, Pritzker should explore significant reforms for the state’s bankrupt pension plans for retired government employees.

Click for top SERS 2019 Pension Grid

Click for top GARS 2019 Pension Grid

Click for top IMRF 2019 Pension Grid

Click for top JRS 2019 Pension Grid

Click for top SURS 2019 Pension Grid

Click for top TRS 2019 Pension Grid

Champaign Government Pensions Take Huge Bite out of Taxpayers

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Champaign, IL – Taxpayers United of America (TUA) today released its updated study of Champaign County, IL government employee pensions, publishing the top 200 pensions Champaign County Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF), the top 200 pensions of the Teachers’ Retirement Fund (TRS), and the top 200 pensions of State University Retirement System (SURS). Taxpayers United of America issued the following statement based on the TEF pension study.

Click to View Top 200 Champaign TRS Pensions

Click to View Top 200 Champaign SURS Pensions

Click to View Top 200 Champaign IMRF Pensions

“Champaign area government pensions take a 50% bite out of property taxes just to fund the IMRF, police, and fire retiree funds,” said Jim Tobin, TUA president.

“IMRF pensions are funded by property taxes but government bureaucrats are more concerned about fulfilling promises made to state government union bosses, in order to maintain and enhance government pensions, than they are about their constituents.”

“Illinois Governor Jay Robert “J. B.” Pritzker has plans to increase state income taxes. Pritzker has advanced his proposal for an income tax increase amendment. The measure, which will be put to voters on the 2020 November ballot, would change the current flat-rate state income tax to a graduated state income tax that would decimate the middle class.”

“The average retirement benefit of a former government employee in Illinois is a hefty $56,148 – for an average period of 20 years on the government payroll. The average Champaign taxpayer’s Social Security pension is about $17,532 per year, and is funded completely with private money from taxpayers and their employers. But the IMRF pensioners also usually collect Social Security on top of their overly generous Illinois pensions.”

“You may recognize some of these names of the government pensioners with multi-million-dollar payouts:

SURS pensioner Peter Maggs struggles to get by on an annual pension of $445,321. With a 3% annual compounded cost of living adjustment, that will accumulate to

$2,688,656 when he reaches the age of 85 in just a few years.

Michael W. Caine retired from Champaign CUSD 4 and currently collects $186,335 annually. Over a normal lifetime, he will accumulate $5,317,694 in pension payments.

William L. Volk retired from Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit and has a current annual pension of $243,922. Mr. Volk likely gets about $28,000 more per year from Social Security.

There are now 2,572 more government retirees receiving over $100,000 compared to last year. This brings the new total to 22,053 retired government employees receiving over $100,000 a year.

Additionally, there are now 111,809 Illinois government pensioners collecting more than $50,000 in taxpayer funded payments yearly. This is an increase of 4,717 from last year, that total being 107,092.

“Illinois courts have made it clear that they will protect the government pensions regardless of how devastating they are to the state, the taxpayers, and the communities of Illinois. Communities throughout the state are cutting services needed today so that they can pay for services of years past.”

“It is just unreasonable to allow people to retire in their 50’s and early 60’s, pay a 3% automatic cost of living adjustment, and expect taxpayers to foot the bill. Now that billionaire Jay Robert “J. B.” Pritzker has been elected, government pension reform won’t occur anytime soon. Pritzker will continue to try to tax his way out of this mess,” concluded Tobin.

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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. s.

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