News Releases

Stunning Champaign and Decatur Government Pensions Crush Taxpayers

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Champaign—Taxpayers United of America (TUA) today released the results of a new study of the pensioners of the Cities of Champaign and Decatur, Macon and Champaign County government schools, Richland Community College, Parkland Community College, and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
“Hundreds of retired local government retirees are getting multi-million dollar pensions,” stated Rae Ann McNeilly, executive director of TUA. “This is not what they are getting paid to provide any kind of service to taxpayers, but what they get paid to do absolutely nothing.”
“Taxpayers’ portion of the stunning pension payouts has increased by 427% since 1998 vs. 75% for the government employees over the same period, according to a report by Illinois Policy Institute. And if recent ‘reforms’ survive a court challenge, the taxpayers will be transferring even more of their wealth to the overpaid government retirees.”
“Not only is the taxpayers’ share of those lavish pensions disproportionate to the government employees who will benefit, but the average government lifer pension is higher than 68% of the working taxpayers’ full-time annual pay. Keep in mind that the average Social Security pension for taxpayers is only about $15,000 a year. This is the income inequality that we really need to be focused on.”
“Although ill-conceived from the beginning, government pensions were never supposed to make multi-millionaires out of retired ‘civil-servants.’ Government is robbing taxpayers blind, in many cases causing people to lose their own homes in order to fund the salaries and benefits of the government employees. As a general rule, about 80% of local taxes go to fund these government salaries and benefits.”
“It is past time to bring government pay and benefits in line with private sector compensation because simple math tells us that we can’t tax our way out of the financial debacle that the government employee defined benefit pension cartel has created.”
“Here’s what some of our local ‘civil servants’ are raking in from their taxpayer subsidized pensions: retired University of Illinois Urbana Champaign employee Craig Bazzani gets a lush annual pension of $281,767 that will accumulate to a stunning $9,431,462 over a normal lifetime. Retiring at the age of 55, Bazzani contributed only about 3.2% of his own money to his estimated lifetime payout.”
“Retiring from Mahomet Seymour CUSD 3 at only 54, John W. Alumbaugh collects a sweet $166,414 this year. He will realize an estimated $6,482,530 in lifetime payments having invested only 2.7% of his payroll to that huge payout.”
“Decatur government school district 61 retiree, Elmer B. McPherson will get $163,916 in pension payments this year – just about the same amount of his own money that he invested in his estimated lifetime payout of $5,784,519. Having retired at 56, his own pension contributions are only about 2.8% of those millions he will collect.”
View the complete list of pensions here:

“These are shocking amounts for taxpayers to be on the hook. And while these represent the highest pensions, it does not diminish the fact that every local taxpayer pays about four times more toward the city government pensions than the very government employees who will collect.”
“Illinois’ government employee pensions are in dire trouble with no end in sight. Government employees, like the vast majority of taxpayers, should save for their own retirement. Taxpayers simply can’t afford to pay so many, so much, to do absolutely nothing and retirees can’t afford the inaction of Illinois lawmakers who are afraid to alienate the special-interest money that keeps them in office.”
“I have analyzed pensions of government employees in 19 states and have personally visited 17 of those states to disclose the government pension largesse across the country and these Champaign and Decatur pensions are some of the highest I have encountered. And everyone knows, or should know, that Illinois has the most friable pension systems in the entire country. As a direct result of the government pension crisis, Illinois also has the worst credit rating. Desperate politicians at every level are exacerbating the problems by raising taxes and forcing productive taxpayers, and the jobs they create, out of the state.”
“TUA supports complete government pension reform that would place all new hires into retirement savings accounts like 401(k)s, increasing existing employees’ contributions to their own pension, raising the retirement age to 67 for full benefits, and increasing retiree and employee contribution to their own healthcare to 50% of the premium.”
“If it takes a Constitutional Amendment to implement these changes, then let’s get it on the ballot at the next opportunity. It’s time the union bosses and government bureaucrats provide truthful options and education to the rank and file, of the crisis state of Illinois’ pension systems.”
“If they knew the truth, members would be the first in line to support pension reform. If they knew just how tenuous their own pensions are, they would be the cheerleaders of reform.”
*Lifetime estimated pension payout includes 3% compounded COLA and assumes life expectancy of 85 (IRS Form 590).

Syverson First Republican Legislator to Call for State Income Tax Increase

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Dave_SyversonChicago—Republican State Senator Dave Syverson, Rockford, IL, is calling for an extension of the state’s 67% “temporary” state income tax increase that is set to roll back to 3.75% on January 1, 2015. According to the president of Taxpayers United of America (TUA), more Republicans may back such a measure now that the election is over.
“Sen. Syverson is exactly what’s wrong with Illinois’ politics,” said Jim Tobin, TUA president. “The vast majority of Illinois legislators never consider spending cuts or government reform.”
“We can expect more of Illinois’ entrenched legislators to jump on the Syverson bandwagon now that the election is over.”
“Illinois is in the worst financial shape of any state in the nation, and yet our legislators can’t roll up their sleeves and solve problems rather than forcing taxpayers to take another hit in their wallets.”
“There are countless opportunities to cut expenses and waste while stimulating job growth by relaxing regulations and lowering taxes that make Illinois unfriendly to business and entrepreneurs.”
“And of course, the single biggest blood-sucking program in the state, government pensions, remain unchanged and continue to suck the life out of taxpayers who don’t flee the state’s burdensome taxes and regulations.”
“The lion’s share of the estimated $31 billion in additional wealth stolen from Illinois taxpayers by the 67% income tax surcharge has gone to fund the lavish, gold-plated pensions of government retirees.”
“The entire legislature is playing politics with the taxpayers of Illinois. The Democrat Machine that raised our taxes will now hand over the unbalanced 2015 budget to the Republican governor-elect, Bruce Rauner, who ran on a campaign of allowing the 67% income tax increase to expire over the next four years.”
“Even though that infamous, eleventh-hour, lame-duck income tax increase was passed without a single Republican vote, Republicans now are inclined to push for keeping the income tax increase.”
“Illinois government should fix what’s broken in Springfield and get its hands out of our wallets. It is mathematically impossible to tax our way out of the problem we have.”
“For those who thought electing a Republican governor would solve our problems, there is St. Sen. Dave Syverson, who is possibly the first of many Republicans who think the only way out of an unbalanced budget is to raise taxes.”
“Anybody with even a basic understanding of simple math can see that the government pensions must be fixed.”
“What legislators like Syverson always forget is that if the state is hurting, so are the taxpayers who fund these clowns. Syverson, and other bureaucrats who support state tax increases, need to learn that the same old tax-and-spend policies can’t continue in Illinois – not unless we want to be the first state to go bankrupt.”

411 Victories: Taxpayers Have Spoken!

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Chicago – Taxpayers United of America (TUA) helped local activists defeat Home Rule referenda in 5 out of 6 communities. This brings our total Illinois Home Rule referenda victories to 206! We were also successful in defeating 2 of 3 countywide sales tax battles, bringing the total to 205 victories against tax increases! That’s 411 victories for taxpayers since 1977!
“Taxpayers soundly beat 7 out of 9 of these measures and sent a Republican Governor to Springfield. I’d say we’ve had enough of the status quo of the government treating taxpayers like an ATM,” stated Jim Tobin, president of TUA.
“Government bureaucrats always try to keep taxpayers in the dark about what Home Rule really means to them – higher taxes that drive consumers away. They still don’t let opposition voices speak at their ‘educational’ sessions. But as shown in Barrington, Crestwood, Lynwood, Matteson, and Lake Zurich, we have learned how to crush them at the polls!”
“Government bureaucrats in Edwards, Wayne, and White Counties expected taxpayers to approve a new 1% sales tax to fund buildings and maintenance of government schools. Taxpayers in Wayne and Edwards sent a clear message that they pump enough money into the government schools that return substandard results.”
Click the links below for our successful Vote No flyers opposing Home Rule and Sales Tax Increases:
· 5 Village Governments Want Taxpayers to Throw Away Their Right to Vote on Property Tax Increases
· 3 Illinois Counties Seek to Gouge Taxpayers With New 1% Sales Tax
“With our help, taxpayers have learned that 80% of local taxes go to fund salaries and pensions of the over-staffed, inefficient, juggernaut government. No matter how loudly the bureaucrats yell, we know that it’s not ‘for the children.’”
“Taxpayers from across the country have been calling and emailing us daily to help stop new, bigger, and existing taxes. Taxpayers are beginning to revolt. When we publish names and amounts showing that 11,054 Illinois government retirees are getting more than $100,000 and 78,000 are getting more than $50,000 in taxpayer funded pensions, taxpayers refuse to take any more pay cuts in the form of more insidious taxation.”
“We need to continue this trend of defeating and repealing taxes and taxing authorities to return prosperity and financial security to taxpayers who are done sacrificing for the sake of government bureaucrats.”
***The original version of this news release reported the repeal of Home Rule in West Frankfort, IL, however, the vote totals reported by the government following the election were inaccurate. The release has been edited to reflect this change.

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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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