Tax Protests Spreading to Downtown Chicago

View as PDF Chicago — The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) is likely to strike on Tuesday because of the failure of protracted contract negotiations, but disgruntled government union members will not be alone in airing their grievances in the city this week.
On Wednesday, October 12 at noon, a grassroots coalition of taxpayers called the Illinois Tax Revolution will converge on the James R. Thompson Center in downtown Chicago to protest rising property taxes that are increasingly making Illinois uninhabitable for average residents.
The Illinois Tax Revolution is a growing movement of taxpayers concerned about the destruction of Illinois’ communities and economy through skyrocketing property taxes and overly burdensome tax policies.
“Property taxes burden Illinois residents far more than either income or sales taxes, outpacing both by billions of dollars,” said Jared Labell, executive director of Taxpayers United of America (TUA). “While we are opposed to all of these taxes and any proposed increases, data shows that the property tax hikes are impacting average residents the most, but you don’t need studies to discover that’s the case – just ask your friends and neighbors.”
“Illinoisans’ residential property-tax burden has risen by 76 percent in the last quarter-century. In the span of just a few decades, residential taxpayers now pay more than two-thirds of all property taxes in Illinois, which has the second-highest residential property taxes in the country.”
“Considering Chicago’s historic property-tax hike last fall and other subsequent tax increases, Illinois will soon most likely overtake New Jersey to become the state with the country’s highest property taxes.”
“TUA supports the Illinois Tax Revolution and champions the plight of Illinois’ taxpayers. We are committed to continuing these actions for as long as Illinois politicians threaten our homes and prosperity with devastating property taxes and burdensome tax policies,” said Labell.
“The Illinois General Assembly must rollback property taxes immediately. If you own a home in Illinois for forty years, you effectively pay for it twice – once to purchase the home and then once again to pay the property taxes. It is absolutely absurd.”
“In 1977, TUA’s founder and president, Jim Tobin, led the only successful property tax strike in modern Illinois history. Nearly forty years later, it looks like the time has come for another taxpayer revolt, but this time it will spread far beyond Cook county and the collar counties. We welcome taxpayers to join us in this fight to save our homes, our communities, and our prosperity,” said Labell.
“I urge taxpayers to join us at the Thompson Center in Chicago this Wednesday. As union members and government teachers strike and protest downtown for an even larger share of your property taxes, it is critical for taxpayers to take a stand and simply say ‘NO.’”
WHEN: October 12, 2016, Noon
WHERE: James R. Thompson Center, 100 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601

Chicago’s Latest Tobacco Tax Hike Snuffed Out – For Now

View as PDF Chicago—On Monday Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s (D) latest package of tobacco tax hike proposals were stalled after more than three hours of testimony by supporters and opponents before the City Council Finance Committee. Challenges to the tax increases were heard from small business owners, tobacco and cigar associations, and Taxpayers United of America (TUA).
 “TUA opposes any and all new taxes on cigarettes, cigars, e-vapors, and other tobacco and related products,” says Jared Labell, TUA’s director of operations. “Higher taxes on tobacco and similar products will simply grow the black market for illicit production and smuggling outside of the scope of the government, just as we have witnessed with the history of prohibition and government intervention in the market. These proposed tax increases are bad for businesses, consumers, and taxpayers who are tired of Nanny State bureaucrats and their incessant proclamations.”
 The proposals up for debate before the Chicago City Council included raising the legal age to buy tobacco products in the city to 21, a 15-cent tax per unit in small cigar packs, increasing the cost of a 20-pack of “little cigars” of various brands by $3, and a 90-cent tax on larger individual cigars. Mayor Emanuel also wanted an additional $1.80 tax per ounce of smokeless tobacco and a $6.60 per-ounce tax on roll-your-own tobacco. This is all in addition to Mayor Emanuel’s budget for 2016, which already includes tax increases on electronic cigarettes, plus the 50-cent per pack tax on cigarettes enacted in the 2014 budget.
 “An increase in taxes on these products also presupposes that projected revenue will surge to help subsidize whatever pet project politicians claim they want to fund with these tax dollars ‘for the children.’ But in reality, between alternative products, changes in consumer demand, options outside Chicago’s city limits, and black market activity, governments tend to see a drop in revenue when using tax policy to shape public behavior.”
 “Chicago’s combined federal, state, and local per pack tax on cigarettes is currently $7.17 – the highest in the United States. Proponents of higher tobacco taxes claim this is a health issue, arguing that raising taxes will reduce consumption, yet these same advocates make the case that higher taxes on tobacco and related products are necessary to generate revenue from taxpayers to fund programs – which is logic that can only come from the minds of government officials,” said Labell.
 “Both government intervention in trade and the manipulation of tax policy to alter the behavior of the public always have a multitude of unintended consequences, and we will see them in droves if the City Council attempts to pass these measures again.”
 “These politically motivated tax hikes will impact businesses, consumers, and average folks trying to make a living – and in only negative ways. Public health is indeed an important issue, but draining taxpayers of more of their hard-earned money, hurting businesses financially, and dragging down Chicago’s already sluggish economy is no way to assist the public in the long-term,” concluded Labell.

Media Coverage of Midwest Government Pension Tension

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Chicago – For nearly a decade, Taxpayers United of America (TUA) has played a critical role in publicizing the government pension crisis that has developed around the country and particularly in Illinois, where TUA was founded and currently based. With the shifting political climate in the state and the election of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner last November, who has stirred up the political class by taking a hardline approach to solving the government pension debacle without raising taxes, taxpayers are seeing more favorable news coverage opposing the lavish government pension system than ever before.
In the last week alone, TUA has received very favorable news coverage by WBBM Newsradio, Sauk Valley News, Michigan Capitol Confidential, and even the Chicago Tribune. Every bit of news coverage for TUA and the government pensions means that exponentially more taxpayers are becoming informed of the perilous financial situation that their politicians have put them in.
The gold-plated government pensions are a hot issue in Illinois and across the country, especially as legislators scramble to temporarily plug budget holes before they adjourn to their communities. These are the same bureaucrats who promise tax relief to their constituents while continuing to perpetuate a broken government pension system by balancing the books on the backs of taxpayers. TUA is here to set the record straight.
And that is why TUA’s work is so vitally important to taxpayers. Over the last decade, TUA has forced the Illinois government pension fiasco into the spotlight and for good reason; the current government pension system is unsustainable. With our persistent activism and outreach, TUA’s website is flooded daily by waves of taxpayers looking to become members, joining TUA in the fight for fiscal sanity in Illinois and to reclaim our economic future.



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.


Chicago, IL 60606 205 W. Randolph Street, Suite 1305
Phone: (312) 427-5128
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