Items of Interest

James R. Thompson: The Ghost Haunting Illinois

View as PDF

On August 14, 2020 James R. Thompson (R) passed away. Big Jim Thompson, as he was known, was the 37th and longest-serving governor of the state of Illinois, serving from 1977 to 1991. Thompson is survived by his wife Jayne and daughter Samantha. The Chicago Tribune describes Thompson as a moderate willing to work on a bipartisan basis to pass legislation.

“A better way to describe Thompson is as a tax thief,” said Jim Tobin, President of Taxpayers United of America (TUA). “Thompson was one of the worst tax-raisers in Illinois history. Thompson twice tried to increase the state’s income tax. He championed a ‘temporary’ tax hike in 1983 that took the income tax rate from 2.5% to 3% for two years. Then in 1989, Thompson raised taxes permanently to 3%.”

“When he retired, Thompson secured a gold-plated Illinois General Assembly Pension that his income tax increase would fund. This year, he was set to receive an annual pension of $165,987. His total pension payout from taxpayers stands at over $3,219,842.”

“However, since Governor Thompson has finally passed away, his wife will now receive survivor benefits. According to state law, Jayne Thompson will now receive 66 2/3% of her husband’s pension, increased at a rate of 3% compounded annually. Jayne will receive this pension, despite being reported to still work as President and CEO of her own company.”

“It’s pensions like these that are bankrupting Illinois. The Illinois General Assembly Retirement System in which Mrs. Thompson will receive payment is only funded at 15.65% thanks to overpromised pensions. That’s why the current Illinois governor wants to increase the Illinois income tax with a graduated rate: to take from you, to fund lavish government pensions.”

“Pritzker’s proposed state constitutional amendment is a wealth transfer from taxpayers to wealthy retired bureaucrats who produce nothing. It is urgent that taxpayers in Illinois vote no on Pritzker’s Income Theft Amendment this November 3 and force Illinois politicians to act within the bounds of reality.”

Politicians Pave Way for Municipal Income Tax

Chicago –After promising their overpaid bureaucrats lavish pensions, local governments have come up with a novel new way to squeeze money from taxpayers. In an audacious move, local politicians are eyeing the liberal powers of Home Rule for the purpose of imposing a municipal income tax on Illinois taxpayers.

“Home Rule is Home Ruin, and the first step in creating a municipal income tax”, stated Jim Tobin, president of Taxpayers United of America. “Home Rule in Illinois strips the power of the taxpayers to vote on new or unlimited increases in taxes, and widens the scope on what can be taxed.”

“We are helping three communities fight Home Rule referenda in the March 17, 2020 primary election. Burr Ridge, Westchester and Lynwood must defeat the implementation of Home Rule to prevent unlimited and burdensome taxation. Implementation of Home Rule enables a community to begin the process of imposing local income taxes that are deducted right from your paycheck!”

“After November 3, we will see the reality of this assault on taxpayers. There are so many new taxes being imposed right now that government bureaucrats are waiting until after the general election to usher in this newest taxation nightmare, a Local Personal Income Tax.”

“Municipal bureaucrats always promise not to abuse Home Rule power, but once they have it, they always abuse it by imposing excessive taxes and fees to fund their pet projects despite the ever-present government pension obligations.”

“The Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) is heavily subsidized by local property taxes. It is also true that IMRF pensions must be paid before all other expenses. Local bureaucrats will do whatever it takes to cash their paychecks and their pensions, including imposing a new individual income tax. On top of all this, remember that IMRF pensioners are also eligible for social security.”

“We are helping local residents in Burr Ridge, Westchester, and Lynwood defeat Home Rule on March 17. Links to the Vote No flyers for each community in the fight can be found below. Please download and share with your friends and neighbors in these communities.”

Click below to view or download:

Burr Ridge Vote No Flyer

Westchester Vote No Flyer

Lynwood Vote No Flyer

“Home Rule does nothing for taxpayers. It forces us to relinquish one of our most important rights and that is the right to vote on tax increases or new taxes. Say goodbye to your ability to voice your opinion through voting on these, among other powers you hand to politicians:

1) Raise property taxes without referendum and removes the 1.9% cap on village property tax increases.

2) Is the first step in creating a local income tax.

3) Impose new taxes in the form of fees, licenses, and regulations.

4) Expedite seizures of private property.

5) Give city property to private interests without competitive bidding.

“I urge you to vote no on any and all Home Rule referenda. It’s never a good idea to give more power to government bureaucrats”, concluded Tobin

DECATUR DECIMATED BY GOV. PENSION TAX INCREASES

TUA logo

DECATUR, IL – Taxpayer Education Foundation (TEF) today released its updated study on Decatur area Macon 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:

“Tax raisers in Decatur and Macon County haven’t seen a tax increase they didn’t love,” said Val Zimnicki, TUA Director of Outreach.

“Decatur property taxes saw a punishing increase of nearly 15%, largely to cover IMRF pensions. IMRF pensions are funded by property taxes while the other five state pension systems are funded by the state income tax.”

“Decatur Schools are borrowing about $55 million, at taxpayers’ expense, to improve facilities. This is part of a plan that is supposed to reduce expenses by closing some facilities and expanding others. We will believe the next real reduction when we see it.”

“With one of the most rapidly shrinking populations in the state, Decatur should be making lots of tax cuts. Over the last few decades we heard how they needed more funding because of growth and yet they still demand more money when the population shrinks. Their lust for taxpayers hard-earned money never ends.”

“The Macon County effective property tax rate increased from $1.79 in 2017 to $2.45 in 2018. The county lost 1,009 residents in the same period.”

“Let’s be clear: this is not about the children or the roads. This is about pay and pensions for the elite government class. This money may be ‘earmarked’ for buildings or whatever, but in reality, it only frees up pre-increase revenues for pensions.”

“The IMRF pension fund, which gives lavish, gold-plated pension benefits to retired municipal employees, is funded by these punishing 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 Decatur area TRS pensions.
  • Click here to see the top 200 Decatur area municipal, and Macon County IMRF pensions
  • Click here to see the top Decatur area SURS pensions

“The entire local and statewide pension system in Illinois is unsustainable. Democrat Governor Jay Robert ‘J. B.’ 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 state income tax. When the state goes under, they will be enjoying their retirements and their fat taxpayer-funded pensions in Arizona or Florida.”

“Middle-class Macon County taxpayers would be decimated by the Pritzker income-tax hike 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 the latest gargantuan gasoline tax-hike.”

“When you look at what the individual government retirees are actually collecting in taxpayer funded pensions, you can 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.”

Elmer B. McPherson retired from Decatur School District 62 at the age of 56. His current annual pension is $190,024. His payments into TRS for his own pension were $192,724. His estimated lifetime pension payout, over a normal lifetime, will be about $5,759,375.

Lawrence R. Fichter retired from Macon County at the age of 64. His current annual pension is $157,680. His payments into IMRF totaled $211,401. He will realize about $2,645,709 in pension payments over a normal lifetime. Lawrence is also eligible for a social security pension.

Gayle Saunders retired at the age of 62 from Richland Community College. With a current annual pension of $246,881, Saunders will collect about $7,327,987 over an normal lifetime, after having paid into SURS only $342,926.

“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 accounts, 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.

BLOG POSTS

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.

ADDRESS

Chicago, IL 60606 205 W. Randolph Street, Suite 1305
Phone: (312) 427-5128
Fax: (312) 427-5139
Website: https://taxpayersunitedofamerica.org
Email: info@taxpayersunited.org

Donate