Illinois

Pension Millionaires Draining Lifeblood from TRS Pension Fund

Click to view release as a PDF
CHICAGO–Pension millionaires and pension high-rollers have sucked the lifeblood out of the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS), charged the President of Taxpayers United of America (TUA), Jim Tobin.
“According to the Chicago Tribune, the situation is so dire that the TRS website acknowledged that insolvency is a possibility,” said Tobin.
“TUA just compiled the TRS ‘Top 100 Teacher Pensions’ as of April 1, 2012, and one glance shows why TRS is so badly over-extended.”
Click here to download the Top 100 TRS pension amounts (PDF).
“The top TRS pension, a whopping $269,531 a year, goes to Henry S. Bangser, of New Trier TWP HSD 203. So far Bangser has collected a total pension payout of $1,366,454.”
“But in terms of total pension payout to date (as of 4/1/2010), Bangser is an amateur. Stephen D. Berry, of Township HSD 214, so far has collected a mindboggling $2,591,450, in addition to his annual pension of $189,081.”
“William J. Attea, of Glenview CCSD 34, so far has collected a total pension payout of $2,500,838, with his annual pension of $183,750.”
“The TRS website states that if no new revenues are found, benefits may be reduced. That’s how serious the TRS pension crises is.”
“Compared with salaries and pensions in the private sector, these government-teacher pensions are outrageous. It’s no wonder that the government-employee pensions in Illinois are drowning in red ink.”
“The way to fix the broken pension system is to replace pensions for all new government hires with social security and 401(k)s, and increase current employee contributions. This is the only way to eliminate the unfunded liabilities that plague taxpayers.”
“Finally, voters should kick all Springfield Democrats out of office in 2012. They are the ones who approved the temporary 67% state income tax surcharge, all of which will be pumped into the state pension programs.”

Clean Sweep: TUA Defeats All 7 Tax-Increase Referenda

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CHICAGO–The president of Taxpayers United of America (TUA) today announced that “the organization, its members and supporters defeated the 7 tax-increase referenda yesterday.”
“It’s a great victory for Illinois taxpayers,” said Tobin. “The seven ballot measures are the largest number of tax-increase referenda we have opposed in a single election since 1982.” said Jim Tobin, TUA President. “To defeat seven out of seven is unprecedented, and shows taxpayers will stand up and fight when given honest information. Our members have defeated over 100 home rule referenda since 1980.”
“We defeated the attempt to con voters into accepting home-rule unlimited-taxing-power referenda in Clarendon Hills, Itasca, Lynwood, Merrionette Park, Princeton and Prospect Heights.”

”We also stopped an attempt to force a $48.5 million property tax increase in Evanston-Skokie School District 65. Overall, we have defeated 193 property tax increase referenda since 1977.”
“Our staff distributed over 20,000 ‘Vote No!’ fliers in four of these communities. We mailed several thousand more fliers to our members and supporters. We worked closely with local taxpayer groups to effectively cover all precincts.”
The “Vote No” fliers included the names and paid-out amounts for the salaries and pensions of the highest-paid employees and pensioners, to let voters know that 80% of their local tax dollars go to pay the salaries and benefits of their local government employees.”
“Clarendon Hills’ Fire Chief, Brian Leahy, for example, pulled in a gross salary (2010) of $199,128 a year. More than 10 police pensions are over $30,000 a year. Former Police Chief, Thomas Reasoner, receives a whopping $65,000 a year pension while at the same time getting paid for a Deputy Director position at the North East Multi-Regional Training Center.
“Nine retired government-employees in Itasca have annual pensions of over $50,000 a year.”
“Now, we need to throw all Springfield Democrats out of office in the November 6th general election, so we can kill the four-year, 67% income tax hike that they’d like to make permanent!”
View images from TUA’s canvassing efforts below, along with the fliers:

Taxpayers Oppose City of Princeton’s Referendum for ‘Unlimited Home Rule Taxing Power’ on March 20

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CHICAGO–The President of Taxpayers United of America (TUA) today urged voters in the City of Princeton, Illinois, to vote “NO” on the March 20 referendum to adopt unlimited home rule taxing power, adding, “Compared to the average income in Princeton, city politicians and bureaucrats already are living like kings.”
“Right now, the City of Princeton must have support from a majority of voters in order to raise city taxes,” said Tobin. “If unlimited home rule taxing power is passed, the city could raise property taxes and create new taxes without asking voters for approval. In addition, adopting home rule would exempt the City of Princeton from the current 5% property tax cap. The city could then raise city property taxes by any amount, any time.”
“Home rule also would allow the City of Princeton to impose new taxes on businesses, gasoline, groceries, parking, and almost anything else.”
“Current and retired city bureaucrats already are rolling in money compared with Princeton residents. They don’t need more money from Princeton residents. The average annual income in Princeton is only $37,000, the median value of a home is only $102,000, and current unemployment stands at 10.2%. However, the current city salary (as of 12/31/11) of Jeffrey Fiegenschuh is $112,799, and the city salary of Leroy Drake is $111,263.”
“Retired Princeton bureaucrats also are raking in the dough. William Spitler pulls in $70,766 in pension benefits each year, and so far has collected total pension benefits of $932,639. Barry Schultz pulls in $59,729 in pension benefits each year and already has collected total pension benefits of $830,092.”
Click to view pension amounts:

“Politicians are notorious for scheduling home rule and property tax increase referenda during primaries, when voter-turnout is low. This March 20, if only 10% of voters turn out, Princeton bureaucrats, who will be out in force, will be able to pass this home rule referendum easily.”
“Princeton voters should go to the polls this March 20, along with their family members and neighbors, and vote ‘NO’ on the unlimited home rule taxing power referendum.”

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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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