Illinois Press

Sangamon Pension Promises Strap Taxpayers

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Click here to view the Taxpayer Education Foundation’s 12th annual pension study

Springfield – Taxpayers United of America (TUA) today released its updated study on Springfield, Illinois government employee pensions, publishing the top 200 pensions for Springfield and Sangamon 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).

“Springfield and Sangamon County are in dire financial condition due to the funding of the government pensions throughout the county,” stated Jim Tobin, president of TUA.

“Springfield and Sangamon County have been increasing taxes at an unsustainable rate in order fund the unsustainable government pensions. Springfield increased its city sales tax by $0.25 and increased taxes on telecom services from 11% to 13% and Sangamon County has a property tax increase referendum on the 2018 ballot to increase Sales Taxes County wide.

“Not only is the county seeking a sales tax increase but Mt. Pulaski also has a $10 million property tax increase referendum for Mt. Pulaski High School. The Village of Jerome is seeking an additional property tax increase specifically for IMRF payments. On top of this, Rochester Public Library District is also supporting a property tax increase referendum on November 6.

“While IMRF pensions are funded by property taxes, other taxes free up money so Springfield and every other municipality can use these revenues for services in order to free up money for the state mandated property tax deposits to the IMRF fund. Every year, the IMRF portion of the property tax bill increases leaving fewer resources available for the services required for taxpayers. In 2017, about 18% of Springfield property tax revenue collected went to government employee pensions. If not reigned in, Springfield will find itself like Galesburg which pays a colossal 67% of its property taxes towards unnecessary lavish government pensions.”

  • Click here to see the top 200 Sangamon County TRS pensions
  • Click here to see the top 200 Springfield and Sangamon County IMRF pensions
  • Click here to see the top 200 Sangamon SURS pensions

“But J. B. Pritzker and House Speaker, Democrat Michael Madigan have plans to raise state income taxes if Pritzker wins the gubernatorial election on November 6,” 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. Some politicians are whispering about a maximum income tax rate as high as 9.85 percent,” added Tobin.

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

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

“TRS pensioner Michael D. Johnson enjoys a stunning $253,450 annual pension. He likely gets about $30,000 taxpayer funded Social Security on top of that. His TRS pension will accumulate to more than $9 million over a normal lifetime. This ‘poor civil servant’ retired at the ripe old age of 55 and he only paid little more than $310,000 into his own retirement.”

“Robert A. Alvey retired from Sangamon County Water Reclamation District with an annual pension of $152,415. He was 60 at retirement and only paid $103,555 into his own pension which will accumulate to about $3,656,771 over a normal lifetime.”

“Harry Berman retired from University of Illinois at Springfield with an annual pension of $176,906. Those annual pension payments will accumulate to about $4,036,350.”

“If Pritzker gets elected, he and Illinois tyrant Madigan will see to it that these pensions are subsidized by taxpayers.  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.

TUA In The News: Trump and Taxes

Click here to to view the full news article.

Recently Jim Tobin, President of Taxpayers United of America was interviewed regarding President Donald Trump and his tax policies. This is what Mr. Tobin had to say on the recent tax cuts and the new tariffs:

“Businesses will be able to hire more employees, and use some of the tax relief to invest in capital stock,” Tobin said. “That’s a source of economic growth that benefits everyone.”

The economic stimulus the tax cuts provide is being watered down as a result of Trump’s actions regarding international trade, more specifically the imposition of import duties and tariffs, according to Tobin.

“Unfortunately, Trump’s support of import tariffs decreases the positive effects of the federal income tax cuts – by one-third, according to a Tax Foundation report released this week,” Tobin said.

Import duties and tariffs raise the costs of imported goods and raise consumer prices, he explained.

Taxpayers United supports the federal income tax cuts wholeheartedly, however, Tobin said.

“It has been good for the country – the stock market is booming, businesses are expanding and unemployment is down to record lows,” he said. “In fact, we need more workers to fill all the open positions available.”

The findings from Kotlikoff’s study aren’t surprising, Tobin continued.

TAX SURVEY OF GOV. RAUNER AND THE 99TH ILLINOIS GENERAL ASSEMBLY RELEASED

James Tobin |  President

(312) 427-5128 | (773) 354-2076

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 15, 2017

TAX SURVEY OF GOV. RAUNER AND

THE 99TH ILLINOIS GENERAL ASSEMBLY RELEASED

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CHICAGO—Taxpayers United of America (TUA) today released its 17th biennial Tax Survey of the Ill. General Assembly.
Click here for exclusive access to our 17th biennial Tax Survey
“Our survey examines the tax and spending bills of the 99th Illinois legislature from January 2015 to January 2017,” said Jim Tobin, TUA President. “Our analysis provides data on how the legislators voted on bills featured in our tax survey. For 41 years, TUA has educated taxpayers while publicizing all significant tax and spending increases voted on by the Illinois General Assembly. TUA has used the same methodology to evaluate each lawmaker’s record since publishing its first Tax Survey in 1983.”
“The 99th General Assembly has been a huge disappointment in the Ill. Senate,” said Tobin. “Not a single member of the Senate – no Republican or Democrat – received a passing score of 70% or more on this Tax Survey. The Republicans scored better in both chambers with average scores of 41% in the Senate and 66% in the House, whereas the Democrats achieved only 4% in the House – and only 1% in the Senate!  That brings the total number of Democrats that scored zero to 91.”
“Some turncoat Republicans in the Illinois house voted for the record-breaking state income tax increase in the 100th General Assembly. Republican House members who voted for this job-killing measure could not be counted among ‘Taxpayer Friends,’ regardless of their score in this edition of the TUA Tax Survey.”
“Notably, Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) outclassed his predecessor, disgraced former Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, who received a sorry 10% on TUA’s 16th biennial Tax Survey. Gov. Rauner is the first Illinois Governor to score above 70% on the TUA tax survey, achieving a score of 92%, and we are pleased to feature him on the list of Taxpayer Friends.”

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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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