Pension Reform

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.”

Tax Increases Fail To Fend Off Kankakee Government Pension Woes

KANKAKEE–Taxpayer Education Foundation (TEF) today released its updated study on Kankakee municipal and 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:

“Kankakee taxpayers are among the hardest hit in Illinois,” said Val Zimnicki, TUA Director of Outreach. “With an effective property tax rate of 1.91%, Kankakee County ranks 189 out of 3143 nationally.”

“There’s really no mystery as to the cause of the high property tax rates. In a word: Pensions. Kankakee municipal and Kankakee County government pensions are funded with property taxes.”

“That’s why it matters to us that people like Michael Downey double dip from taxpayers. Mr. Downey retired from the Kankakee Sheriff’s Department at the age of 53 and was then appointed to replace the retiring Sheriff. His $92,216 annual pension will accumulate to more than $2.8 million over a normal lifetime. Add to that his six-figure salary and you’ve got taxpayers footing the bill for this extravagant expenditure.”

“The city of Kankakee increased the sales tax by two full percentage points specifically to fund the IMRF pensions. And that’s just the IMRF funding. Kankakee police and fire pensions are literally in dire straits. They are funded only 27% and 17%, respectively.”

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

·Click here to see the top 200 Kankakee municipal and county IMRF pensions

·Click here to see the top 200 Kankakee area SURS pensions

“The entire local and statewide pension system in Illinois is unsustainable. The other five statewide pension funds are funded partly 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 Kankakee 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 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.”

Michael J. Kick retired from Kankakee County at the age of 55. He currently collects $112,305 a year in pension payments. His contributions to his own pension total $81,845. Assuming he lives to 85, he will collect $2,917,835. Michael is also eligible for a social security pension

Kay Green retired from Kankakee School District 111 at the age of 61. She will collect $154,379 in pension payments this year and $3,366,141 over a normal lifetime.

Larry Huffman retired from Kankakee Community College at the age of 54. He paid $157,199 into SURS and will collect $4,418,316 in estimated lifetime pension payments.

“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 stop the bleeding until comprehensive pension reform can be enacted.”

Rock Island Gov. Pensions Drive Higher Property Taxes

Rock Island

This story was featured by the Dispatch–Argus, KWQC TV, and WQAD TV. Another story on this release was run 9/19/2019 by WQAD TV.

Rock Island, IL – Taxpayer Education Foundation (TEF) today released its updated study on Rock Island County, Rock Island City, Moline, and East Moline 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:

“Taxpayers in Rock Island County have been hit with yet another property tax increase. This time additional revenue of 11.9% is needed to keep the IMRF pensions afloat,” said Jim Tobin, president of TUA.

“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.”

Rock Island County has an effective property tax rate of 2.56%, according to Attom Data Solutions. The national average is 1.17% and the Illinois average is 2.22%.

“Taxpayers in Rock Island County sure aren’t getting their money’s worth. Their effective property tax rate is more than double the national average and even higher than the Illinois state average. The reason it is so high is because goonish politicians spend lavishly on gold plated, retired government employee pensions. Rock Island County taxpayers are paying for government services provided years ago. Sadly, there isn’t enough money left to pay for the services taxpayers need today.”

“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 Rock Island 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-hike.”

“When you look at what 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 about $17,500 a year from Social Security and that most IMRF pensioners are also eligible for a Social Security pension.”

Calvin Lee retired from Moline USD40 and currently collects $222,655 a year in taxpayer-funded pension payments. He contributed $390,120 into the TRS to fund his own pension which will total about $7.3 million over a normal lifetime.

Marshall Douglas receives benefits from the IMRF. His current annual pension is $155,673 and will accumulate to $2.5 million over a normal lifetime. He deposited $159,794 into his own pension. Marshall is also eligible for a social security pension.

Black Hawk College retiree, Bettie Truitt, retired at the age of 52 and currently collects $133,568 in pension payments. Taxpayers largely fund her estimated lifetime payout of $7,161,282 as she contributed only $187,423.

“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.”

Click here to see the top 200 Rock Island, Moline and East Moline TRS pensions
Click here to see the top 200 Rock Island, Moline and East Moline municipal,  and Rock Island County IMRF pensions
Click here to see the top Black Hawk SURS pensions

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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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