Cook Co. Soda Tax Would Subsidize Lavish, Gold-Plated Pensions of Retired Cook Co. Politicians and Bureaucrats

James Tobin |  President

  (312) 427-5128 | (773) 354-2076


October 10, 2017

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The Director of Outreach of Taxpayers United of America (TUA), today urged Cook County Commissioners to repeal the “soda” tax, saying most of the funds from the regressive tax would subsidize the already “lavish, gold-plated pensions” of retired county politicians and bureaucrats.
On November 10, 2016, the Cook County Board of Commissioners passed the “Cook County Sweetened Beverage Tax Ordinance.” The tax imposed is a one-cent-per-ounce on the retail sale of all sweetened beverages in Cook County.
“As of 2013, 276 Cook County pensioners were getting over $100,000 in annual pension payments,” said Val Zimnicki. “The average retirement age of these 276 retirees is only about 60, with an average estimated lifetime payout of $4.7 million.”
“I wish I could give you figures updated as of today, but the Cook County Board has been stonewalling us, and has not responded to our Freedom of Information request.”
“Cook County has some of the highest property taxes in the country and government salaries and pensions are the reason. Most of county spending is for salaries and benefits of the government employees. Furthermore, Cook County politician’s taxpayers elected have failed to reform the very system that siphons away our wealth for their own benefit.”
“Our 2013 study revealed some alarming figures.”
Click here to view the Top 200 Government Pensions as of 4/1/13 for Cook County.
Alon Winnie collected a taxpayer-funded annual pension of $330,323 and will accumulate a stunning $4,698,522
in lifetime pension payments. *”
John Barrett had an annual pension of $321,854. Having retired at only 58 years of age, he will enjoy a staggering estimated lifetime payout of $10,037,135. His contribution of the estimated lifetime payout would be only 3.8%. *
“James Stone, who retired at age 55, will collect at least $10 million in total estimated lifetime benefits.” *
“Roxanne Roberts, who retired at age 57, also will collect at least $10 million in total estimated lifetime benefits.” *
“It’s mathematically impossible to tax your way out of this problem. Illinois has more than 17,000 retirees collecting more than $100,000 pensions each year. Government pensions must be cut or the system will collapse.”
To see all 276 Cook County pensions visit our web site at
*Lifetime estimated pension payout includes 3% compounded COLA and assumes life expectancy of 85 (IRS Form 590).

Bombastic Taxpayer Traitor St. Rep. David Harris Won’t Run For Reelection After Exposure By TUA

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James Tobin |  President 

  (312) 427-5128 | (773) 354-2076


October 5, 2017

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CHICAGO—State Rep. David Harris (R-53, Mt. Prospect) announced on Oct. 3 that he will not be running for reelection. Harris had been strongly criticized by Taxpayers United of America (TUA) for betraying Illinois taxpayers and his own political party. The Republican “Taxpayer Traitor,” David Harris, had been named at a news conference on August 24, 2017, at the headquarters of Taxpayers United of America, 205 W. Randolph Street, Chicago.

The press conference was held after a TUA victory in Illinois House district 65, where St. Rep. Steven A. Andersson announced he would not run for reelection after being named “Taxpayer Traitor” by TUA.

David Harris and his nine fellow Republican traitors conspired with House Speaker and Chicago machine boss, Michael Madigan, to pass the largest permanent income tax hike in the state’s history, increasing the personal income tax rate to 4.95 percent from 3.75 percent, and the corporate income tax rate from 7.75 percent to 9.5 percent. You can be sure that most of the $5 billion from this latest income tax increase will be funneled into the state’s floundering government-employee pension funds, just like previous tax increases,” said TUA President Jim Tobin.

TUA had distributed “wanted” fliers for “crimes against taxpayers” with Harris’ picture on them at locations across the 53rd District, urging voters to “Throw tax traitor David Harris out of office on March 20th, 2018.”

TUA Denounces Illinois Income Tax Hike in Sun-Times and IL Forum

Last week, the Illinois General Assembly voted to override Gov. Rauner’s (R) income tax hike veto in both the Senate and the House.
This economically devastating legislation would have been impossible to pass without the help of Republican Sen. Dale Righter and 10 Republicans in the House: Andersson, Bryant, Fortner, Hammond, D. Harris, Hays, Jimenez, B. Mitchell, Phillips, Unes.
TUA’s executive director, Jared Labell, spoke out against this most recent plundering of Illinois taxpayers in the Chicago Sun-Times, under the ominous headline “Illinois moves into the top 20 personal income tax states.”
“Jared Labell, executive director of Taxpayers United of America, compared fixing the state’s financial problems, as well as the impact the income tax hike could have, to a game of “Jenga.” The game of stacked pieces relies on a sound infrastructure to keep from toppling – which is not unlike a state government, he said.
 “The tax increase isn’t a solution to (the state’s financial problems).””
Read the article here.
This past Sunday, Jim Tobin, TUA’s founder and president, attended Bob Redfern’s Illinois Forum meeting in Champaign, IL.
While addressing the attendees, Tobin denounced the newly passed 32% income tax hike and the $5 billion in tax dollars to be siphoned away from hardworking Illinoisans for the benefit of the politicians, bureaucrats, and retired government employees collecting millions of your tax dollars to fund their lavish government pensions.
Tobin’s complete remarks can be viewed here.
The state income tax increase was pushed through the legislature against the wishes of a majority of Illinoisans, activist groups, and our best efforts, along with other fellow organizations.
One thing is clear: if this is Springfield’s solution, the financial climate in Illinois will never recover.
When the Illinois General Assembly reconvenes in January 2018, we will be prepared to offer our own legislation to make sure that more of your hard-earned money remains in your pocket, and not in the hands of the spendthrift politicians in Springfield.