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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.”

INCREASING CLASS SIZE KEY TO SOLVING CPS FISCAL WOES

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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.”

Bloomington Taxes Take Huge Bite out of Taxpayers

This story was featured by NBC TV and ABC TV.

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BLOOMINGTON–Taxpayer Education Foundation (TEF) today released its updated study on Bloomington-Normal municipal pensions, McLean 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:

“Bloomington area taxpayers have been bludgeoned by government bureaucrats and their lust for taxpayers’ money,” stated Jim Tobin, president of TUA.

“I guess the Bloomington government hacks admired Gov. Jay Robert “J. B.” Pritzker’s doubling of the gas tax so much they decided to follow suit. Bloomington’s gas tax was doubled from $0.04 per gallon to $0.08 per gallon.”

“These gas taxes are particularly hard on the working class as they have less, if any, discretionary income than the elite political class that imposes these taxes.”

“McLean County Unit 5 school district is piling on with a huge tax increase of its own. Property taxes in the Unit 5 district increased 9.21% this year alone. That means an increase in property taxes of about $200 a year on a home valued at $175,000.”

“Let’s be clear: this is not about the children or the roads. This is about pay and pensions. This money may be ‘earmarked’ for buildings or whatever, but in reality it only frees up pre-increase tax revenues for pensions.”

“The IMRF pension fund, which gives lavish, gold-plated pension benefits to retired municipal employees, is funded largely by property taxes. If that isn’t bad enough, IMRF pensioners, for the most part, also receive Social Security pensions.”

  • Click here to see the top 200 Bloomington-Normal area TRS pensions.
  • Click here to see the top 200 Bloomington-Normal area municipal, and McLean County IMRF pensions
  • Click here to see the top Bloomington area SURS pensions

“The entire local and statewide pension system in Illinois is unsustainable. The other five statewide pension funds are funded by the state income tax. Democrat Governor 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 McLean County taxpayers would be decimated by the Pritzker Income Tax Increase Amendment 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 Pritzker’s recent 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.”

Clarence Bowman retired from Illinois State University at the age of 60. His current annual pension is $409,747. He paid $410,284 into his own retirement fund, SURS. His taxpayer funded pension will accumulate to a stunning $11,381,414 over a normal lifetime.

Robert S. Nielsen retired from SD 87 at the age of 58. His current annual pension is $204,027. His personal payments into TRS total $267,783. Having retired so young, his pension payments will accumulate to about $6,296,748.

Mark R. Peterson retired from his position at the Town of Normal at the age of 59. His current annual pension is $149,003. He Paid $213,818 into the IMRF. His pension payments will accumulate to about $3,886,516 over a normal lifetime. Mark is also eligible for a social security pension.

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