Pension Reform

Rahm’s Amusement Tax- Not Funny to Taxpayers who Fund Lavish Muni Pensions

TUA exposing government pensions was featured on WTTW. Click here to view the news article. 
View As PDF
Chicago – Taxpayers United of America (TUA) has released its most recent government pension study exposing individual pensions for Chicago Municipal Government retirees.
“All of the top 200 Chicago pensions for the ‘poor civil servants’ are at least $100,000 a year,” stated TUA’s president, Jim Tobin. “The average retirement age for this group of pensioners is only 58. Social Security requires taxpayers to reach age 67 before they are eligible for full retirement benefits…which max out at about $32,000 a year”, added Tobin.
The Municipal Employees’ Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago, (MEABF) is predicted to be insolvent in 8 years, according to its most recent audit. The auditing firm estimated that taxpayers would have to deposit $1,005,456,621 to make the fund solvent. MEABF does not include Chicago teachers, police, or firefighters who each have their own pension system, all separate from the 6 statewide pension funds.
To pay for these lavish city pensions, Mayor  Rahm Emmanuel is increasing and creating new “entertainment taxes.” Included in his proposed 2018 budget, are a measure to increase the current tax on some music and sports venues and a new entertainment tax on internet services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc.  The tax-per-seat will go up by 80 percent to 9 percent from 5 percent for tickets to concerts, plays or comedy shows for venues larger than 1500 seats. Victims of this tax increase include Wrigley Field, the home of the Chicago Cubs, and the United Center, home of the Chicago Blackhawks and the Chicago Bulls.  There also is a new entertainment tax on major streaming services like Netflix. The tax on streaming services will extract $12 million from these companies, with the cost likely passed on to consumers.
“The state of Illinois is bankrupt. They can’t pay their bills because the outrageously rich government pensions rob the taxpayers blind. And there won’t be a bailout by the state for the city of Chicago – there just isn’t enough taxpayer money. Taxpayers would have to pony up about $1,005,456,621 to make the MEABF solvent!”
“At every level of government in Illinois, bureaucrats are trying desperately to prop up the failed pension funds with more tax increases. You can be sure that the historic increase in the state’s income tax won’t be the last one.”
“Here are a couple of examples of the ‘poor public servant’, taxpayer funded pensions:
Dennis J. Gannon collects an annual pension of $194,638. Assuming he leads a normal life of 85 years, that annual pension will accumulate to $7,791,985. Retiring at only 50, he will collect taxpayer funded pension payments for 35 years…far more years than he actually was employed by the city!
Then there’s Stephen M. Murray. Collecting an annual pension of $146,896 will provide him with an outrageous lifetime payout of $5,107,745. Keep in mind that he retired at only 53 years of age!”
Click below to view the top 200 pensions for Chicago Municipal Retirees:

“These government pensions are legalized theft. Overpromising benefits to government employees is pervasive throughout Illinois. The government pensions are singularly responsible for Illinois’ financial crisis.”
“We support Gov. Bruce Rauner’s plan to repeal the historic state income tax increase passed last year and resolve the pension problem through a change to pension protection clause in the Illinois Constitution,” concluded Tobin.

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

View as PDF
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!

BLOG POSTS

DISCLAIMER

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.

ADDRESS

Chicago, IL 60606 205 W. Randolph Street, Suite 1305
Phone: (312) 427-5128
Fax: (312) 427-5139
Website: https://taxpayersunitedofamerica.org
Email: info@taxpayersunited.org

Donate