Illinois Press

Pritzker Defends Lavish Government Pensions Despite Economic Reality

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Yesterday Ill. Gov. Jay Robert “J. B.” Pritzker (D) delivered a budget address promising to raise taxes on Illinois taxpayers to pay lavish Illinois government pensions.

From the speech, “We will dedicate a portion of the new fair income tax – in other words, hundreds of millions of dollars – to the pension system, over and above our required pension payments. We will infuse new assets into the system up front.”

This is a promise to slam taxpayers with the Pritzker Amendment, a graduated state income tax increase on the Illinois Middle-class. The statement means driving more taxpayers out of their homes. Worst of all though, is that it makes it harder on future generations to live in Illinois. It is an accepted fact that 20 cents of every dollar taxpayers send the state will go toward public sector pensions. By taking out billions of dollars in debt and kicking the can down the road again, that future number could be even higher.

Jim Tobin, President of Taxpayers United of America, offered more realistic solutions. “Cut the pensions, put all new hires in a 401(k) style plan, and allow local governments to declare bankruptcy. I have said this for years, but and here we are. Moody’s estimates the government pension funds are $250 billion in debt, and everything J.B. has proposed will just make things worse in the long run.”

TAXPAYERS MUST RESIST PRITZKER’S DISASTROUS TAX-INCREASE PLANS

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Springfield—Last week, Ill. Gov. Jay Robert “J. B.” Pritzker (D) fired the opening salvo in his war on Illinois working families.

In a state that spent over a billion dollars more then it took in last year, Pritzker has decided to give pay raises to 20,000 Illinois government employees. This pay raise has been estimated to cost Illinois Taxpayers an additional TWO HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS annually. In addition, Pritzker signed a bill that placed even more government regulation on Illinois gun dealers. This legislation has already inflicted casualties amongst the firearms industry, with other small business to follow suit.

“If this is just the first week, then I hate to see what the entire term will look like,” said Jim Tobin, President of Taxpayers United of America (TUA). “Then again, this wasn’t unexpected. Pritzker is the only gubernatorial candidate I can think of that came into power promising to tax the hell out of people. Illinois taxpayers need to push back against this guy, who thinks he’s Santa Claus to government employees.”

Despite claims from J.B.’s election website that “I have plans to put Illinois back on the side of working families,” the reality shows Pritzker will do anything but. On the agenda is either a Vehicle Miles Traveled Tax (VMT) that may force a government tracker into private vehicles or a 30 cent per gallon increase in the state gasoline tax. Both of these taxes will disproportionately hurt both middle and lower-class commuters, as the tax will steal a larger percent of their limited budget.

Another anti-working-family tax measure is the Pritzker Amendment, a graduated state income tax increase on the Illinois Middle-class. Despite lofty statements made by Pritzker like, “The vast majority of the people in the state of Illinois should get an income tax break,” and, “The wealthiest people in the state can afford to pay a little bit more,”  the political reality is completely different. HB 3522, a bill designed by members of Pritzker’s political party, is an example of legislation that can be passed if the amendment is ratified. Such a bill could raise the income tax payment made by a middle class taxpayer earning $40,000 by 16.44%. Thankfully, the flat income tax prevents such assaults against the middle class and those aspiring to better their station in life.

J.B. Pritzker is locked in a fight against the Illinois middle and lower class, with the spoils of war going to benefit another class, the government class. That is why it is important to contact your local state representative and senator who can be found here: https://www.illinoispolicy.org/maps/ and tell him or her to resist these anti-taxpayer measures. Otherwise they may join with Governor Santa Claus in making Illinois a worse place to live.

Gov. Pension Burdens Crush Rock Island County Taxpayers

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Rock Island, IL – Taxpayers United of America (TUA) today released its updated study on Rock Island County, Illinois government employee pensions, publishing the top 200 pensions for Rock Island County Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF), the top 200 pensions of the Teachers’ Retirement Fund (TRS), and the top 200 pensions of State University Retirement System (SURS). Taxpayers United of America (TUA) issued the following statement based on the TEF pension study.

“Rock Island County local governments are ripping taxpayers out of their homes,” stated Jim Tobin, president of TUA.

“As property taxes increase in the area, more people are forced out of their homes through foreclosure. The quad cities still rank in the top 20 metropolitan areas in the country for foreclosures. Rock Island homeowners pay crushing property taxes in comparison to other cities in the country.”

“Property taxes in the city of Rock Island increased 9% in 2018. The city of Moline has a 2019 budget that increases property taxes 2.5%. Foreclosure rates can’t improve when the government sucks up so much of our hard-earned cash.”

“IMRF pensions are funded by property taxes but government bureaucrats are more concerned about fulfilling promises made to union bosses in order to maintain and enhance government pensions than they are about their constituents.”

“But J. B. Pritzker and House Speaker, Democrat Michael Madigan have plans to increase state income taxes if Pritzker wins the gubernatorial election next week,” added Tobin.

“Priztker advocates for an immediate income tax increase and also supports the Income Tax Increase Amendment, which would change the current flat-rate state income tax to a graduated state income tax. He and his buddy Madigan plan on placing the amendment on the November 2020 statewide ballot.”

“If the amendment passes, you can expect the state’s middle class to be decimated. Here’s why: House Bill 3522, filed by state Rep. Robert Martwick, D-Chicago, would tax incomes between $7,500 and $15,000 at 5.84 percent. For incomes between $15,000 and $225,000, the rate would be 6.27 percent. And for incomes over $225,000, the rate would be 7.65 percent.”

“Illinois taxpayers would be crushed. Some politicians are whispering about a maximum rate as high as 9.85 percent,” added Tobin.

“The pension data speaks for itself. The average Rock Island County taxpayer’s Social Security pension is about $17,000 and is funded completely with private money from taxpayers and their employers.”

“These IMRF pensioners collect Social Security on top of their very generous pensions so taxpayers are forced to shell out an additional 15% of the local government employee salaries.”

“SURS pensioner Dorothy Beck enjoys a cozy $123,824 annual pension. With a 3% annual compounded cost of living adjustment, that will accumulate to a really cozy $2.8 million.”

“Calvin D. Lee retired from Moline USD 40 and currently gets $216,170 in annual pension payments. Over a normal lifetime, he will accumulate $7,288,962 in pension payments. Poor old Calvin retired at the age of 58!.”

“ Marshall E. Douglas retired from Rock Island County government with an annual pension of $152,390. Those annual pension payments will accumulate to about $2,725,025. Mr. Marshall likely gets about $28,000 more per year from Social Security.”

“If Pritzker gets elected, he and Illinois tyrant Madigan will see to it that these pensions are protected. The pension promises bring in the thousands of union and government employee votes. Taxes will increase at a devastating rate and more and more Illinoisans will leave the state, driving up the tax burden for those of us who stay.”

“It is just unreasonable to allow people to retire in their 50’s and early 60’s and expect taxpayers to foot the bill, but if Madigan gets his way and Pritzker wins the governor’s race, government pension reform won’t occur anytime soon,” concluded Tobin.

Click to View Top Rock Island IMRF Pensions

Click to View Top Rock Island SURS Pensions

Click to View Top Rock Island TRS Pensions

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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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