Rockford Property Taxes Going Up to Fund Gov. Pensions!

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Rockford, IL – Taxpayer Education Foundation (TEF) today released its updated study on Rockford-area 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). Based on the TEF pension study, Taxpayers United of America (TUA) issued the following statement:

“IMRF pensions, largely kept afloat by property taxes of homeowners and businesses, hit Rockford taxpayers particularly hard. Rockford is right up there with New York and New Jersey. With the fourth highest property taxes in the entire country, Rockford is especially burdened by an effective tax rate of 2.83%,” said Jim Tobin, president of TUA.

“For many homeowners, this means that their property taxes meet or exceed their actual mortgage payment, although this is financially detrimental to every property owner in Rockford.”

“We have passed the point where the government bureaucrats who made these outrageous promises can tax their way out of the problem, although they will try their damndest. This is why Springfield Democrats have put on the 2020 statewide ballot the Income Tax Increase Amendment.

Cook County machine Democrat, Gov. Jay Robert “J. B.” Pritzker and his buddy, Chicago Machine Boss, Michael J. Madigan, Democrat Speaker of the Illinois House, are hoping to keep propping up the pension system by increasing the income tax under the guise of a ‘more fair’ graduated state income tax.”

“I guarantee that the middle class will be hit the hardest by the Income Tax Increase Amendment, as well as all of the new and higher taxes they are implementing.”

  • Click here to see the top 200 Rockford TRS pensions
  • Click here to see the top 200 Rockford and Winnebago County IMRF pensions
  • Click here to see the top Rockford SURS pensions

“Rockford taxpayers, because of their comparatively high property tax rate, will be hit harder by the Pritzker Income Tax Increase Amendment than most Illinoisans.”

“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 IMRF pensioners are also eligible for a Social Security pension.”

Paul A. Logil retired from the Winnebago County government and collects an annual pension of $168,424. He retired at the age of 55 and paid $224,614 into the IMRF. His estimated lifetime pension payout is approximately $4,329,741. Paul is also eligible for a social security pension.

Alan S. Brown retired from Rockford SD205 at the age of 55. His current annual pension is $183,329. He paid only $175,892 into TRS and his estimated lifetime payout is $5,321,315.

Karl Jacobs retired from Rock Valley College. His current annual pension of $179,592 is more than the $159,281 he paid into SURS. His estimated lifetime pension payout is $2,833,620.

“What is most troubling about the pension crisis is that none of the elected bureaucrats are willing to do anything to fix the problem. Speaker Madigan obviously is hoping to prop this system up just long enough for him to retire, and escape all responsibility for the financial demise of Illinois.

“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,” said Tobin.

PRITZKER AND MADIGAN TO PUSH ILLINOIS OVER THE EDGE WITH THEIR PROPOSED GRADUATED STATE INCOME TAX INCREASE

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Illinois taxpayers—and the state itself—have never been in a more precarious situation than now. Gov. Jay Robert “J. B.” Pritzker, a creature of the Cook County Democrat political machine, and Chicago machine boss and Ill. House Speaker Michael J. Madigan, rammed through the Illinois General Assembly a graduated income tax increase amendment to the Illinois Constitution that will appear on the statewide ballot.

“This proposed change in the state income tax is a financial nightmare,” said TUA president Jim Tobin. “If the Democrats are successful in hoodwinking the state’s voters into passing it, the amendment will drive more taxpayers and businesses out of Illinois. It will put the state in a death spiral. The state is not far from that point now. This amendment would put the state over the edge.”

Rates for individuals under Pritzker’s plan would jump to nearly 8 percent for anyone earning more than $250,000 per year. For those with incomes of more than $1 million annually, the 7.95 percent rate would not be marginalized—it would be applied to every dollar, not just income of more than $1 million!

“Make no mistake: this is a planned tax increase on the state’s middle class,” said Tobin. “Pritzker says the high upper rates would apply only to the state’s ‘rich,’ but, for Pritzker, the middle class is what he defines as rich.”

“In the early 1900s, the federal income tax was passed with the same promise that it would apply just to the rich. How has that worked out?”

“We defeated the Berman income tax increase amendment in 1992, and we can defeat the Pritzker income tax increase amendment.”

“We will get in touch with taxpayers across the state, especially the suburbs in the most heavily populated counties, to help them organize and spread the word against this ballot measure,” said Tobin. “We will meet with voter groups in person, contact them by direct mail, and by email. There is no inexpensive way to do this, but the stakes are too high for us to hold back.”

“We will use all our resources to fight this horrendous state income tax increase amendment, because if it passes, it will be the end of the State of Illinois.”

ILLINOIS POLITICIANS PROPOSE TO RAISE GASOLINE TAXES BASED ON MISREPRESENTED STATISTICS

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Illinois Governor Jay Robert “J. B.” Pritzker is pushing for a huge increase in Illinois’ sales tax on gasoline as he and his collaborators in the general assembly justify their actions with distorted information.

“The proposed hike in gasoline taxes is a scam,” according to Jim Tobin, president of Taxpayers United of America (TUA). “The reasons given for raising gasoline taxes are false.”

A bill introduced in the State Senate would double the Illinois gas tax, from 19 cents to 38 cents per gallon, and hike vehicle registration fees supposedly to pay for repairs to roads, bridges and other “infrastructure.”

“We now have pothole-ridden roads that we can’t afford to fix and more than 2,300 bridges that are rated as structurally deficient,” contended State Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-11, Cicero), chair of the Senate Transportation Committee.

Sandoval proposed an amendment to Senate Bill 103, which would create almost $2 billion in new taxes annually. The doubling of the motor fuel tax per gallon to 38 cents would take effect July 2019.

However, according to Randal O’Toole, a Cato Institute Senior Fellow, Illinois’ highway infrastructure is actually in fairly good shape, despite the pronouncement of Pritzker that infrastructure is “crumbling across the state.” The transportation system with serious infrastructure problems is urban transit.

“The real problem with Illinois’ transit infrastructure is not that it is worn out but that it is obsolete and no longer successfully serves the needs of the typical state resident,” says O’Toole.

“By two important measures the roads are in good shape and getting better,” states O’Toole. “First, only 2,303 bridges, or less than 9 percent of the total, were considered structurally deficient in 2017. This is a substantial reduction from the 4,494 highway bridges, or 18 percent of the total, that were classified structurally deficient in 1992. ‘Structurally deficient,’ by the way, doesn’t mean that a bridge is in danger of collapsing or poses a safety risk. Instead, it only means is that the cost of maintaining a bridge is greater than it should be and, in some cases, the load limits for the bridges have been reduced.”

“The second measure showing that Illinois roads are improving is a standardized roughness index used by the Federal Highway Administration to grade highways. According to this index, Illinois roads are 35 percent less rough today than they were in 1995.”

In its 23rd Annual Highway Report, the Reason Foundation revealed that Illinois Ranks 28th Overall in Highway Performance and Cost-Effectiveness. In other words, it’s in the middle of the pack. In fact, in some areas, Illinois roads do quite well. “Illinois’s best rankings are rural Interstate pavement condition (tied for 1st), rural arterial pavement condition (3rd) and urban Interstate pavement condition (5th).”

“Illinois ranks 15th in fatality rate, 7th in deficient bridges, 1st (tie) in rural Interstate pavement condition, 5th in urban Interstate pavement condition….”

 “Obviously, there are other reasons Illinois Democrats and Senator Bill Brady (R-44) want to raise gasoline taxes,” said Tobin. “Due to the state’s lavish, gold-plated pension plans for retired government employees, the state’s pension plans and finances generally are in dire condition, and rather than cut spending and revise the government pensions, the Democrats and Bill Brady are again kicking the can down the road with as many tax hikes as they can get away with.”