jim tobin

Madison & St. Claire County Taxpayers Reject Job-Killing Sales Tax Increase

Edwardsville – Taxpayer Education Foundation (TEF) today released its updated study on the Madison and St. Claire County area government-employee pensions, including the top 500 pensions in the Teachers Retirement System (TRS), top 200 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:

“Madison and St. Claire County taxpayers are much smarter than the government bureaucrats who try to rule them,” said Jim Tobin, TUA president. “The hacks that run the governments in these geographically challenged areas keep trying to add a new school sales tax, but voters are smart enough to realize that this simply drives shoppers, and their money to lower tax areas nearby or across the river.”

“Rather than try to cut spending, these government bureaucrats just keep increasing taxes. The St. Claire County Board voted to increase the 2019 property tax levy by 5%. Property taxes in the area have already nearly doubled in the last 20 years but that still isn’t enough for these blood-thirsty parasites!”

“It is no mystery what is driving the economy-killing property tax increases in these counties. In a word, pensions. IMRF pensions are funded with property taxes and state law requires that the IMRF pension bill is paid before all others. The taxpayers currently pay $3 in property taxes for every $1 that IMRF members pay into their own retirement fund.”

“The perpetual tax increases that plague Illinois residents have nothing to do with children, roads, or services. This is about pay and pensions for the privileged-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 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 500 Madison and St. Claire County area TRS pensions.
  • Click here to see the top 200 Madison and St. Claire County and area municipal IMRF pensions
  • Click here to see the top Southwestern Illinois area SURS pensions

“The entire local and statewide pension system in Illinois is unsustainable. The other five statewide pension funds are funded by the state income tax. 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 income tax. When the state goes under, they will be long gone and enjoying their fat taxpayer-funded pensions in Arizona or Florida.”

“Middle-class 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 Pritzker’s gargantuan gasoline tax increase.”

“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.”

John N. Benedetti retired from Grant CHSD 124 at the age of 60. His current annual pension is $211,794. He paid $371,704 into TRS and will accumulate $6,209,324 in taxpayer funded pension payments over a normal lifetime.

David Werner retired from SIU – Edwardsville at the age of 62. His current annual pension payment is $276,301 and already exceeds the $246,018 he paid into the SURS for his own pension. He will realize about $5,755,062 in total pension payments over a normal lifetime.

William R. Haine is retired from the Madison County government and currently collects $158,422 a year in pension payments from the IMRF. His payments into his own retirement fund were only $110,031. Retiring at 58, his pension payments will total about $3,308,494 over a normal lifetime. William is also eligible for a social security pension.

“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 67. These measures would at least slow the bleeding until comprehensive pension reform can be enacted.”

Give Chicago Teachers Pink Slips

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CHICAGO—The financially troubled Chicago Public Schools (CPS) should lay-off scores of teachers and significantly increase class size to save money, according to the president of one of the nation’s largest taxpayer organizations.

 “Study after study has established that there is no appreciable correlation between class size and academic achievement,” said Jim Tobin, President of Taxpayers United of America (TUA). CPS is on the brink of financial collapse, and its administrators need to bite the bullet and start laying-off teachers. The resulting larger class sizes will not affect academic performance and will save taxpayers millions of dollars. It is obscene to advocate raising property taxes once more on overburdened Chicago homeowners.”

 Stanford economist Eric Hanushek’s study on class size is the gold standard on this topic. He looked at the best studies and found that 89% of the studies show either no statistically significant advantage or a significant negative effect to smaller classes.

 A Cato Institute study reports that the average American classroom has gotten substantially smaller over the past 40 years (by about 7 students) but achievement at the end of high school is essentially flat . A Harvard study by researchers Antonio Wendland and Matthew Chingos reported in 2010 that Florida’s statewide class size reduction had “no discernible impact upon student achievement,” but has so far cost the state roughly $28 billion.

The Chicago Teacher’s Union (CTU) has been pushing for smaller class sizes, claiming that smaller class sizes will improve student achievement. According to the Illinois Policy Institute, the CTU even authored a report on the topic, asking the Chicago City Council to divert $170 million of the $351 million set aside for charter school expansion in 2012 toward reducing average class sizes from 28 to 20 students.

 “This class-size myth is perpetuated by the union bosses and their legislative cronies to increase the number of union jobs for both teachers and laborers. It is a scam to extract even more taxpayer wealth from the pockets of the middle class,” added Tobin.

 “Chicago homeowners can’t afford another property tax increase in order to swell teacher-union membership. It’s time to lay-off teachers and increase class size. This would be a significant step toward stabilizing CPS finances.”

Springfield IL Taxpayers Crushed by Gov. Pension Debt

Springfield Illinois TUA

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Last week Jim Tobin, President of Taxpayers United of America went to Springfield to expose lavish, government pensions. The story was reported by Greg Bishop of Center Square. Click here to view their article and video.

Springfield, IL – Taxpayer Education Foundation (TEF) today released its updated study on Springfield municipal pensions, Sangamon 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:  

“Springfield taxpayers deserve better from their government. Just in the last year, they have approved a 3.3% property tax increase to throw more money at SD 186 and a new county-wide new sales tax of 1% that would be used for school building repairs and improvements,” stated Jim Tobin, president of TUA.

  “Every ‘new tax’ opens another door for increased theft of taxpayer wealth. Just watch what happens to that inconsequential 1% sales tax. This little 1% now puts parts of Springfield in the position of highest local sales tax in the country at 10.75%. Yes, the highest in the USA! Chicago used to hold that title but it’s not really a contest you want to win,” quipped Tobin.  

“The IMRF pension fund, which gives lavish, gold-plated pension benefits to retired municipal employees, is funded by property taxes. $903 million in property taxes have been shoveled into this fund to keep it afloat.”  

· Click here to see the top 200 Springfield area TRS pensions.

· Click here to see the top 200 Springfield area municipal, and Sangamon County IMRF pensions

· Click here to see the top Springfield area SURS pensions   “The entire local and statewide pension system in Illinois is unsustainable. The other five statewide pension funds are funded by the state income tax. 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 income tax, so they can make it through the next election cycle. When the state goes under, they will be enjoying their retirements in Arizona or Florida.”

“Middle-class Springfield taxpayers will 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 Pritzker’s gargantuan gasoline tax-hike.”  

“When you look at what individual government retirees are actually collecting in taxpayer funded pensions, you can get a better idea 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 IMRF pensioners are also eligible for a Social Security pension.”  

Diane K. Rutledge retired from Springfield SD 186 at the age of 56. Her current annual pension is $187,048. She will collect an estimated $5,854,673 over a normal lifetime.  

Theodore B. Flickinger is collecting an annual pension of $271,579. He retired from the Illinois Association of Park Districts and will collect an estimated $4,667,184 in IMRF pension payments over a normal lifetime. He paid into IMRF only $229,232. Theodore is also eligible for a social security pension.  

Yunus Kathawala retired from University of Illinois – Springfield with a current annual pension of $197,737, Yunus will collect about $4,909,457 in SURS payments over a normal lifetime.  

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 account, 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.”

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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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