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Warren TWP HSD 121 (WTHS) wants to raise taxes during a pandemic! The school district has placed on the April 6th ballot a referendum to increase the limiting rate on property taxes, effectively raising property taxes by $7.6 million!
“Illinois is still locked down, schools aren’t even fully open, yet the career tax-raisers at WTHS want taxpayers to fork over another $7.6 million,” said Jim Tobin, economist and president of Taxpayers United of America (TUA). “This is really hitting the taxpayers when they’re down.”
“All of the top 15 annual salaries in WTHS are greater than $136,000, and, when they retire, these teachers will collect millions from the Teachers Retirement System (TRS). And these ‘poor civil servants’ still aren’t back in the classroom. It’s unconscionable that government school administrators would expect taxpayers to subsidize these overpaid teachers with more of their hard-earned money.”
Lake County, IL ranks 18th out of 3,143 counties for property taxes as a percentage of annual income–6.76%. Lake County’s average annual property tax of $6,285 is the highest of all Illinois counties.
“WTHS needs to sell the 100-acre parcel that they purchased in 2008 for $8 million. Proceeds from the sale would go a long way to protect the programs that the government school bureaucrats are threatening to drop if the referendum fails. They have threatened to risk students’ ability to qualify for colleges, scholarships, and succeed in life.”
“Do your jobs and get the kids back in school and do it with the revenue you have,” said Tobin. “Raising taxes just pushes more people out of the state, decreasing revenue.” “We urge everyone in District 121 to show up and VOTE NO on April 6th. Tell the tax-raisers to balance their budgets without another money grab.”
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For years, substandard Illinois government schools have failed students. In 2017, a program was set up to help low-income students escape these schools. The “Invest in Kids Act,” gave parents and their disadvantaged children school choice. The students were given a scholarship paid by donors who received a tax credit. A 75-cent tax credit was given for every dollar donated. The neediest students were prioritized for acceptance. This program was to last until January 1, 2024 before being restarted, but Governor Pritzker decided to kowtow to the teacher unions and dismantle the program. He called this a business “tax loophole.”
It is not a business tax loophole, as it allows underprivileged families to choose whatever school is best for their children. Many of these private schools have been open since August despite the general pandemic lockdown, and no coronavirus casualties have been recorded. In-person learning should be expanded not limited, but this seems to be too much “choice” for the governor and those in education who are trying to keep the children of Illinois hostage.
By limiting scholarships, the governor will then redirect several million dollars to lower achieving government schools. Even 3 years ago, Pritzker stated at a news conference at the Illinois Education Association’s Professional Development Center in Springfield: “I’m opposed to that $75 million tax credit, that school voucher system that [Rauner] created, and we should as soon as possible do away with it.”
The $75 million in tax credits has yielded $100 million in private school scholarships for low-income Illinois students. Under Pritzker’s 2020 budget, eliminating $25 million of the tax credits (worth $37.5 million in scholarships) for needy families and students allows more millions to go to inferior government schools. The governor’s children attend private schools. If government schools are so good, why do 40 percent of Chicago teachers send their own children to private schools? When it comes to their own children, Chicago teachers know what to do.
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By Val W. Zimnicki
Chicago—The $1.9 trillion stimulus package is really a government and state employee gift package. Many billions of dollars will go to Democrat-run states with huge pension deficits. Instead of reforms, these states will continue to freely mismanage their funds because there is no accountability. Taxpayers in states without huge, self-inflicted financial burdens will be paying for them.
The stimulus package contains $350 billion in taxpayer funded bailouts for state and local governments for debts incurred not related to the pandemic. These states like Illinois have mismanaged pension funds and the fix is in. So, this is not an anti-virus spending bill; it is an extension of governmental-powers bill. Illinois will receive more than $13 billion in state and local funding to “avoid dramatic budget cuts at every level of government,” according to Sen. Durbin. To socialist oriented legislators like him, governments can only grow not shrink. Indeed, the ideal would be if every employee was a subject of the federal or state workforce, and those pesky private employees didn’t exist.
The national stimulus bail-out creates a special $570 million payout to federal employees who aren’t working because they are caring for a family member who has coronavirus. If, for example, the family children (no matter what age) are not physically in school, then the parent/teacher will be paid for up to 600 hours in paid leave, receiving up to $35 per hour or $1,400 a week. The family is still eligible for this royal hand-out even if their schools are fully open or practicing remote teaching from those still closed. Of course, this program, like many others, excludes those working in the private sector. Federal royalty comes first.
Logically, public employees do not need unions as they are already protected by their employer, the government. Special treatment is given them because during contract negotiations, public unions sit across from people they helped elect through multi-million-dollar campaign contributions. Those elected pay them back and as surreptitious and immoral as this is, it is legal.
Of course, governments create problems via unnecessary lockdowns, which gives them an excuse to solve them by spending even more money without accountability.
The federal bailout includes $1.8 billion to Chicago; $7.5 billion to the state of Illinois; $5.7 billion to local governments (Illinois has about 7000). The stimulus bill is unwarranted because is creates dependence on big government.