The Illinois Road Hysteria

Champaign Road Illinois

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Smelling blood in the water, special interest groups and tax thieving politicians pounced on the possibility of an Illinois capital spending bill. To fund the capital spending bill’s road and transit projects, politicians and activists have called for a gas tax increase of 20 cents per gallon with the highest rate pushed as high as 85 cents per gallon. To accept the capital bill and its likely tax increases, groups like the Fight Back Fund have been airing propaganda to scare Illinois motorists.  The organization is headed by Marc Poulos, executive director of the Indiana, Illinois, Iowa Foundation for Fair Contracting, which represents the powerful International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150One of their commercials promoting the lavish road spending made allusions to children being harmed in car accidents as reasons to support such a bill. The ad even ended with the call to action, “How many more people have to die before we act?” What these anti-taxpayer scare tactics don’t want you to know though, is that Illinois roads are surprisingly good.

The American Society for Civil Engineers (ASCE), a society known for their advocacy on infrastructure projects, has graded the Illinois road network at a D, or “poor,” with the overall infrastructure graded at a C-.  These are not the grades you would want you son or daughter to come home with, but there is a problem with this rating system. It does nothing to reference what poor means. They can cite why they gave it a poor grade, but can only compare its grade with other U.S. states. Poor can mean a 95% score for all the good it does. Thankfully, since the ASCE also rated the United States road network as a whole as a D too, we can compare the Illinois grade with other countries. So what is the condition of America’s roads?

The condition of America’s roads are actually very good. According to reports published by the World Economic forum, of the 137 countries measured the United States has the 10th best roads in the world.  On a global sliding scale from 1-7 with a 7 being the best, the United States scored a 5.7 in total. This score beats out other developed countries like Germany which scored a 5.5 for it’s rank of 15th place. So if the ASCE ranks Illinois as the same as the national average, a D grade, then Illinois has some of the best roads in the world, even better than Germany’s roads.

Some would criticize the declaration that Illinois has surprisingly good roads by pointing to the Illinois bridge issue. Over two weeks ago an Illinois bridge on Lake Shore Drive made headlines by having cracks in its steel supports. It is also a fact that there are 2,290 structurally deficient bridges in Illinois. However, despite the scary sounding classification what structurally deficient means is more mundane. From the Federal Highway Administration, “Bridges are considered structurally deficient if significant load-carrying elements are in poor condition due to deterioration or damage.” That is it, just poor condition. Now consider the fact only 9% of the Illinois bridges are “structurally deficient” and the problem is a lot smaller than how it is presented.

Illinois infrastructure is fine. The gas tax already brings in over a billion dollars a year, and should not be raised. In fact, Illinois roads would be even better if Illinois politicians did not steal billions from the fund for other projects, or use the funds to subsidize empty Chicago Transit Authority buses. Instead, Illinois government should take a stand for taxpayers, forget a massive multi-billion dollar tax increase, and live within its means like everyone else.

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: or call his office at (309) 664-4440.

Chicago Public Schools Build Rich Future For Teachers

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View 2018 CPS Grids for all $100,000 CPS pensions

Chicago – Taxpayers United of America (TUA) has released the updated study of the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund (CTPF) conducted by its education arm, Taxpayer Education Foundation (TEF).

“Chicago teachers are guaranteed a rich future that they consistently fail to provide for their students,” stated Jim Tobin, president and found of TUA.

“No place is it more apparent that teachers are not paid for performance in educating our students than in Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Although the CPS graduation rate has increased to about 78%, it still trails the national average of about 84% and yet salaries are among the highest in the nation.”

“Chicago taxpayers are clearly not getting what they pay for. CPS pays its teachers more than any other major metropolitan government school district. Those generous paychecks equate to even more generous pensions. With a 3% compounded cost of living adjustment it takes only about 10 years to make more than their final average salary and the pension itself doubles in about 25 years.”

“There are more than 1,275 CTPF pensioners collecting more than $100,000 a year while the average Chicago taxpayer receives only about $17,000 in Social Security pension payments. That doesn’t even include most administrators who participate in a different pension fund.”

“Chicago area property taxes continue to climb in order to cover the ballooning pension payments. Chicago homeowners suffered a 10% property tax increase last year and another 5% increase this year and there is no end in sight.”

“Now that J. B. Pritzker has been elected as Illinois’ governor, you can count on a massive state income tax increase via the income tax increase amendment, a graduated income tax increase for Illinois. Their proposed structure would decimate the middle class.”

“Manford Byrd still tops the list of CTPF pensioners. His current annual pension is $202,244 and he has been paid $2,493,466 so far.”

“Mary A. McGuire makes more now in retirement than she did when she was employed. Her current annual pension is $185,201 while her final average salary was $183,800. With her compounded 3% cost of living adjustment, she should take in about $4,435,398 over a normal lifetime.”

“Imagine getting $5,871,750 in lifetime pension payments! That’s what Barbara June Eason-Watkins is on track to collect. Her current annual pension is $184,057 and she only paid 4.3% into her own pension fund.”

“Chicago is on a downward spiral as more and more taxpayers are moving out of the city and out of Illinois. That leaves a higher tax burden for those of us who stay as spending continues to increase – a formula for disaster.”

“Illinois needs to pass pension reform that ends the overly generous pensions and salaries being paid to government employees. New hires need to be placed in retirement savings accounts and retirement ages need to be raised. Without these changes, Chicago and Illinois will be completely bankrupt.”



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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