Pension Reform

Cook Co. Soda Tax Would Subsidize Lavish, Gold-Plated Pensions of Retired Cook Co. Politicians and Bureaucrats

James Tobin |  President

  (312) 427-5128 | (773) 354-2076

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 10, 2017

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The Director of Outreach of Taxpayers United of America (TUA), today urged Cook County Commissioners to repeal the “soda” tax, saying most of the funds from the regressive tax would subsidize the already “lavish, gold-plated pensions” of retired county politicians and bureaucrats.
On November 10, 2016, the Cook County Board of Commissioners passed the “Cook County Sweetened Beverage Tax Ordinance.” The tax imposed is a one-cent-per-ounce on the retail sale of all sweetened beverages in Cook County.
“As of 2013, 276 Cook County pensioners were getting over $100,000 in annual pension payments,” said Val Zimnicki. “The average retirement age of these 276 retirees is only about 60, with an average estimated lifetime payout of $4.7 million.”
“I wish I could give you figures updated as of today, but the Cook County Board has been stonewalling us, and has not responded to our Freedom of Information request.”
“Cook County has some of the highest property taxes in the country and government salaries and pensions are the reason. Most of county spending is for salaries and benefits of the government employees. Furthermore, Cook County politician’s taxpayers elected have failed to reform the very system that siphons away our wealth for their own benefit.”
“Our 2013 study revealed some alarming figures.”
Click here to view the Top 200 Government Pensions as of 4/1/13 for Cook County.
Alon Winnie collected a taxpayer-funded annual pension of $330,323 and will accumulate a stunning $4,698,522
in lifetime pension payments. *”
John Barrett had an annual pension of $321,854. Having retired at only 58 years of age, he will enjoy a staggering estimated lifetime payout of $10,037,135. His contribution of the estimated lifetime payout would be only 3.8%. *
“James Stone, who retired at age 55, will collect at least $10 million in total estimated lifetime benefits.” *
“Roxanne Roberts, who retired at age 57, also will collect at least $10 million in total estimated lifetime benefits.” *
“It’s mathematically impossible to tax your way out of this problem. Illinois has more than 17,000 retirees collecting more than $100,000 pensions each year. Government pensions must be cut or the system will collapse.”
To see all 276 Cook County pensions visit our web site at taxpayersunitedofamerica.org.
*Lifetime estimated pension payout includes 3% compounded COLA and assumes life expectancy of 85 (IRS Form 590).

Announcing the latest taxpayer traitor: David Harris


 
CHICAGO—The second Republican “Taxpayer Traitor” David Harris has been named on August 24, 2017, at the headquarters of Taxpayers United of America (TUA), 205 W. Randolph Street, Suite 1305,
The press conference was held after a TUA victory in Illinois House district 65. TUA helped oust Representative Steven A. Andersson from his current district. Representative Andersson was the last tax traitor to be named, and TUA takes rightful credit  for ending his run as state representative.
“(Steven A. Andersson) is gone, that’s one down, and eight to go,” said Jim Tobin, TUA President.
Now TUA turns its attention to David Harris of district 53. David Harris was one of the Tax Traitors that sided with Michael Madigan, raising the personal income tax rate by 32% this last July. Shifting pressure onto David Harris, TUA will be utilizing new tactics that were deployed against Rep. Steven Andersson, and will increasing the intensity of their efforts.
“It’s a shame that these Republicans have betrayed their constituents, and Mr. Harris needs to be thrown out of office,” later stated Jim Tobin.
These Taxpayer Traitors have betrayed their constituents and must pay the price. TUA will continue to expose these Republican turncoats until all are gone. It’s time for a massive housecleaning in Springfield!
View Daily Herald News article featuring TUA!

11th Annual Report Illinois State Pensions

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Unsustainable Illinois Govt. Pensions Driving State to Bankruptcy

CHICAGO — Taxpayers United of America (TUA) today released the results of its 11th Annual Illinois State Pensions Report. This new report analyzes government retiree pensions from Illinois’ General Assembly Retirement System (GARS), Judges’ Retirement System (JRS), Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS), State Universities Retirement System (SURS), State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS), and the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF).
Click below to view the data from TUA’s 11th Annual Illinois State Pensions Report

Surveying the increasing number of government retirees and the growth of their pensions over the past few decades provides a greater understanding of the financial burden facing Illinois taxpayers. Nearly two years ongoing, Illinois’ current budget crisis is mainly due to the exorbitant costs of the government pension system supported by Democrats and Republicans like Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and former Gov. Jim Edgar. Government pension payments now devour billions of tax dollars every year to line the pockets of retired government employees.
TUA’s research exposes the magnitude of Illinois’ financial crisis by examining the vast number of retired government employees collecting lavish six-figure annual pensions. 17,000 former government employees each collect annual pensions of at least $100,000, costing taxpayers more than $2 billion this year alone.
Taxpayers work longer and receive far less in retirement than government employees, who often retire in their early 50s with taxpayer-funded pensions worth multiple times the annual maximum Social Security retirement benefit for taxpayers, which is $32,000 if working until 66.
Based on data collected through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, TUA’s analysis of Illinois government pensions reveals nearly 100,000 Illinois government retirees now collect annual pensions of $50,000 or more, an increase of more than 7,000 additional government retirees since TUA’s 2016 Annual Illinois State Pensions Report.
How much these pensioners paid into their own retirement, in contrast to their generous payouts, is shocking.
For many government retirees, within two years they will collect more money in retirement than they contributed to their own pension. These gold-plated government pensions, subsidized by taxpayers, accumulate to multi-million dollar payouts over a natural lifetime. Using this data to calculate the estimated lifetime pension payout totals for these government retirees underscores the ever-increasing liabilities of defined-benefit government pensions. The system is an untenable burden on taxpayers and increasingly consumes billions of tax dollars in the state budget, worsening with every new hire and retiree adding to the cost.
The Illinois State Constitution’s pension-protection clause – Article XIII, Section 5 – chains generations of taxpayers to an uncontrolled financial burden foolishly created decades ago by politicians in Springfield. It must be amended for a sustainable financial future. Taxpayers are unable to pay this enormous cost, as the budget crisis clearly shows, and without changes, taxpayers will otherwise continue to leave Illinois by the thousands for states with booming economies, while the tax burden increases for those remaining in Illinois.
 

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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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