Illinois Press

Bloomington Taxes Take Huge Bite out of Taxpayers

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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.

Where Is The Money Going?

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Chicago- After months of publicizing an increase in the Illinois gas tax, tax raisers have formally announced their ambitions. SB 102 proposed by State Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-11) would double the  motor fuel tax from $.19 per gallon to $.38 per gallon. Additionally, Sandoval’s bill would increase the passenger vehicle registration fee to $148 from $98, and the electric vehicle fee to $148 from $17.50. Most driver’s license fees would increase to $60 from $30, while truck registration fees would rise by $100. These tax increases would be expected to bring in an additional two billion dollars for Illinois government annually.

Advocates for the tax increase argue that Illinois needs this bill, but President of Taxpayers United of America Jim Tobin has a question. “Where is the money going?”

“We know not all of the money from the Illinois state gas tax goes to roads,” said Tobin. “Also, despite politicians saying so at every opportunity, Illinois roads and bridges are not crumbling.”

“Springfield and Chicago tax-raisers are spreading false information about Illinois roads. According to the Reason Foundation’s 23rd Annual Highway Report, which ranks the performance of state highway systems in 11 categories, including spending per mile, pavement conditions, deficient bridges, traffic congestion, and fatality rates, Illinois ranks 28th. Illinois roads are actually in the middle of the pack.”

“As for the disinformation politicians are spreading to terrify the public into thinking that Illinois bridges are unsafe and are about to collapse, the Reason Foundation found that Illinois bridges are the seventh-lowest in the 50 states in number of bridges in deficient condition. That these lying politicians are spreading lies about Illinois bridges to frighten people is outrageous.”

“On behalf of Illinois Taxpayers I demand that Illinois lawmakers tell the public what the money is really being used for.”

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.”

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DISCLAIMER

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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