News Releases

3 Illinois Counties Seek to Gouge Taxpayers With New 1% Sales Tax

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Chicago – Government bureaucrats in Wayne, White, and Edwards Counties have placed referenda on the November 4, 2014 ballot for voters to approve a 1% sales tax to supplement school funding. According to Taxpayers United of America (TUA), if passed, this new tax will do more harm than good.
“Adding new taxes is that last thing we need in Illinois,” stated Jim Tobin, president of TUA.
“This new sales tax will drive customers away to do business in lower tax counties. Times are hard right now with local unemployment around 7%. People can’t afford higher taxes. It’s time for government to solve the problems of debt and over-spending.”
“80% of local taxes go to pay government employees’ salaries and benefits. This tax increase is not for the children; it is for the lavish pensions and higher than average salaries of the government employees.”
“By allocating this 1% sales tax to buildings and maintenance, it frees up money to ensure government teachers and administrators can make so much more than the taxpayers who foot the bills.”
“Illinois’ pension plans are in the worst shape of all states in the country. We simply can’t afford to pay so many to retire at such young ages. In many cases, these government retirees get paid for more years not to work than they actually worked, while the average taxpayer will have to work until they drop.”
We are helping local activists to fight this referendum. For copies of our ‘vote no flyer’, click here:

Or call our office and we can mail copies to you.
To view the pension grids for these counties, click here:

“Raising taxes during tough economic times is bad for businesses and taxpayers. We have to stop their futile attempt to tax their way out of this problem.”
“Take a look at retired Norris City-Omaha-Enfield SD employee, James D. Price of White County. He gets a very comfortable annual pension of $118,314 that will accumulate to a stunning $3.6 million over a normal lifetime. His personal contribution to that payout is only about 2.7% and he retired at the age of only 56!”
“Gilbert D. Hanneken retired from Wayne County’s Fairfield SD112 at the ripe old age of 57 and gets a healthy annual pension of $127,803 that will accumulate to an eye popping, $3,938,497 over a normal lifetime.”
“These examples represent the highest pensions in the three counties looking to impose a new tax, but no ‘civil servant’ who relies on taxpayers to fund their retirement should be able to retire at relatively youthful ages.”
“The taxpayers of Wayne, Edwards, and White Counties are struggling to keep their heads above water. The median household income in this area is about $40,000 a year. Enough is enough already. Let the government bureaucrats take the pay cut this time.”
“When the funding from the state to the local school districts decreases, spending should be cut accordingly. In many cases, the revenue decreases because the schools’ enrollment decreases. Expenses should stay in line with declining enrollment.”
“Illinois currently has more than 11,054 annual state pensions over $100,000 and more than 78,526 government pensions over $50,000 a year. It is mathematically impossible to raise enough taxes to sustain the defunct state pension system and yet every unit of government continues to try.”
“I urge everyone in White, Edwards, and Wayne Counties to vote no November 4, 2014 on this money grab by greedy government bureaucrats!”

Hold on to Your Wallets

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Chicago – Taxation serves one purpose only: to grow government, according to Jim Tobin, noted economist and president of Taxpayers United of America (TUA).
“Government bureaucrats are always looking for ways to get more of your hard-earned money. God forbid you choose to smoke in Chicago. You now have to pay $7.17 in taxes for each pack, the highest rate in the country,” added Tobin.
“Bureaucrats love to tax vices; they are such an easy target. They sell outrageously high taxes on things like cigarettes as ‘the responsible thing to do’ – and people soak it up!”
“Government taxes for one reason only – to grow and sustain government. Government is not altruistic and does not have any interest in reducing the rate of smokers. They would lose too much revenue if everyone actually quit smoking.”
“When taxes like those on cigarettes are sold as a deterrent to high-risk behavior, it is simply a marketing strategy to easily pass a tax increase. The bureaucrats rely on the naiveté of their constituents.”
“The reality is that increasing taxes locally drives business to neighboring communities. In the case of cigarettes, you create a significant black-market opportunity. Cook County Sheriff, Tom Dart, attributed the lower than anticipated cigarette tax revenue to the growing black market cigarette operations throughout Chicago and Cook County.”
“The real issue is, why do we need to keep increasing tax revenue? The answer is simple. Pensions. The government pensions are the real budget drain. 75% to 80% of local taxes go to pay government employee salaries and benefits, and that doesn’t include the state pension funds. But it does include the municipal police and fire pensions in most cases.”
“The State of Illinois and many of the communities within are in dire financial straits because of the gold-plated pensions that have been promised to the government employees. It is mathematically impossible to tax your way out of the problem, however, the bureaucrats will try with all their might.”
“Government budgets across the state are hurting and they will seek to tax everything that moves, if they have Home Rule taxing powers, although cigarettes are so special they can be taxed even without Home Rule authority.”
Home Rule gives local government the authority to increase taxes or create new taxes, with very few limitations, without a referendum. There are approximately 150 Home Rule units in Illinois.
“I caution everyone to be diligent in monitoring the activities of the Home Rule unit governing bodies. As state money decreases, local governments will be looking to increase revenue through Home Rule taxes.”
“This is a great time to repeal Home Rule. As a matter of fact, TUA has been contacted by activists in 3 Home Rule communities to help them launch a campaign to repeal Home Rule.”

836 DuPage County Government Teacher Pensions in the top 6.6% National Income Level

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Chicago—Taxpayers United of America (TUA) today released the results of a new study of the pensioners of Naperville municipal, Naperville Police and Firefighters, and DuPage County government teacher pensions.
“836 of the DuPage County government teacher pensions are over $100,000 which places them in the top 6.6% income level nationally,” stated Rae Ann McNeilly, executive director of TUA. “This is not what they are getting paid to educate our youth, but what they get paid to do absolutely nothing.”
“The average retirement age for these $100,000 pensioners is only 57. Not only does that exceed the area’s average household income of $73,000, but the average Social Security pension is only about $15,000 and in most cases, you must wait until you are 67 to collect full benefits.”
“Although ill-conceived from the beginning, government pensions were never supposed to make multi-millionaires out of retired ‘civil-servants’.”
“The Illinois 5 state pension funds are critically underfunded. Conservative estimates put that unfunded liability at about $187 billion. These do not include the pensions for local police and fire. Naperville police and fire pension funds are only about 62% and 67%, respectively, funded. That means about $700 for every man, woman, and child residing in Naperville for the police and fire unfunded liabilities alone. Combined with the state pension liabilities, that’s about $15,200 of liability for every man, woman, and child in the city.”
“The burden on taxpayers for these unfunded liabilities is unconscionable. While those who stand to receive millions in taxpayer subsidized pension payments argue that they ‘earned their pensions and are entitled to them’, so too are the taxpayers entitled to keep their homes which they worked all of their lives to purchase. But those very homes will be taken away if the property taxes that fund these lavish pensions are not paid. 80% of property taxes go to fund salaries and benefits of government employees.”
“It has never been clearer that the job-killing policies of raising taxes to prop up the gold-plated government pensions, and the union votes that follow, are more important to these government bureaucrats than the future of Illinois itself.”
“Between the state pension funds and the local police and firefighter pension funds, taxpayers are being taxed to death despite the fact that it is mathematically impossible to tax our way out of this problem.”
“It is past time to bring government pay and benefits in line with private sector compensation.”
“How did we get to such mind boggling pension liabilities? Retired Community Unit SD 200 employee, Gary T. Catalani, is enjoying a cool $284,674 annual pension that will accumulate to a stunning $10,345,806 in estimated lifetime payouts because he was able to retire at the ripe old age of 56. His personal contribution to that payout was only a little more than $289,000, or 2.8% of his estimated lifetime payout.”
“Then there is the infamous double-dipper, Robert Marshall who retired from the police force with a comfortable annual pension of $104,129 which will accumulate to about $4,035,726 in estimated lifetime payments. Apparently, when he ‘retired’ at the age of 54 he wasn’t quite all worked out because he was rehired as the Naperville police chief and draws an additional salary of about $155,000 per year. He is drawing from taxpayers about $259,000 a year…..while he builds a second taxpayer funded pension!”
Click below to view complete lists:

“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 Naperville 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 pension 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 Naperville and DuPage County 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).

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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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