Press

5 NEW HOME RULE VICTORIES AND NEW CHALLENGES

Last night was a series of mixed blessings for taxpayers.

Yesterday taxpayers resoundingly turned down home rule from entering their communities. Beach Park, Lemont, Winthrop Harbor, Prospect Heights, and Zion all voted “No” on adopting Home Rule. By rejecting Home Rule, taxpayers have refused to give local politicians unlimited taxing power.

“I am happy for all of our local advocates,” said Taxpayers United of America (TUA) President, Jim Tobin, upon hearing of the victories. “TUA has warned for years that Home Rule means home ruin. This shows we are being heard loud and clear. I am hopeful this overwhelming victory discourages other power hungry local politicians, but governmental greed knows no limit. We have defeated 431 local tax increase referenda since 1977.”

However, the battle for the Illinois statewide government ended on a less rosy tone.

J. B. Pritzker ran over incumbent Bruce Rauner for Illinois Governor in an unsurprising victory. Rauner, who refused to sign a Tax Accountability taxpayer protection pledge, ran an ugly Republican primary campaign against Jeanne Ives. Representative Ives had scored a perfect 100% while Rauner only scored a 92% in our TUA Tax Survey of the 99th Illinois General Assembly. Representative Ives had also signed a taxpayer protection pledge.

Rauner’s attack on a committed taxpayer advocate combined with the tens of millions in funds for the Pritzker propaganda machine sealed the fate of the Republican governor.

Now with a committed tax raiser back in the governor’s seat and a Democrat majority, it falls to taxpayers to resist the Income Tax Increase Amendment, a graduated income tax increase for middle class taxpayers.

Gov. Pension Burdens Crush Rock Island County Taxpayers

View as PDF

Rock Island, IL – Taxpayers United of America (TUA) today released its updated study on Rock Island County, Illinois government employee pensions, publishing the top 200 pensions for Rock Island County Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF), the top 200 pensions of the Teachers’ Retirement Fund (TRS), and the top 200 pensions of State University Retirement System (SURS). Taxpayers United of America (TUA) issued the following statement based on the TEF pension study.

“Rock Island County local governments are ripping taxpayers out of their homes,” stated Jim Tobin, president of TUA.

“As property taxes increase in the area, more people are forced out of their homes through foreclosure. The quad cities still rank in the top 20 metropolitan areas in the country for foreclosures. Rock Island homeowners pay crushing property taxes in comparison to other cities in the country.”

“Property taxes in the city of Rock Island increased 9% in 2018. The city of Moline has a 2019 budget that increases property taxes 2.5%. Foreclosure rates can’t improve when the government sucks up so much of our hard-earned cash.”

“IMRF pensions are funded by property taxes but government bureaucrats are more concerned about fulfilling promises made to union bosses in order to maintain and enhance government pensions than they are about their constituents.”

“But J. B. Pritzker and House Speaker, Democrat Michael Madigan have plans to increase state income taxes if Pritzker wins the gubernatorial election next week,” added Tobin.

“Priztker advocates for an immediate income tax increase and also supports the Income Tax Increase Amendment, which would change the current flat-rate state income tax to a graduated state income tax. He and his buddy Madigan plan on placing the amendment on the November 2020 statewide ballot.”

“If the amendment passes, you can expect the state’s middle class to be decimated. Here’s why: House Bill 3522, filed by state Rep. Robert Martwick, D-Chicago, would tax incomes between $7,500 and $15,000 at 5.84 percent. For incomes between $15,000 and $225,000, the rate would be 6.27 percent. And for incomes over $225,000, the rate would be 7.65 percent.”

“Illinois taxpayers would be crushed. Some politicians are whispering about a maximum rate as high as 9.85 percent,” added Tobin.

“The pension data speaks for itself. The average Rock Island County taxpayer’s Social Security pension is about $17,000 and is funded completely with private money from taxpayers and their employers.”

“These IMRF pensioners collect Social Security on top of their very generous pensions so taxpayers are forced to shell out an additional 15% of the local government employee salaries.”

“SURS pensioner Dorothy Beck enjoys a cozy $123,824 annual pension. With a 3% annual compounded cost of living adjustment, that will accumulate to a really cozy $2.8 million.”

“Calvin D. Lee retired from Moline USD 40 and currently gets $216,170 in annual pension payments. Over a normal lifetime, he will accumulate $7,288,962 in pension payments. Poor old Calvin retired at the age of 58!.”

“ Marshall E. Douglas retired from Rock Island County government with an annual pension of $152,390. Those annual pension payments will accumulate to about $2,725,025. Mr. Marshall likely gets about $28,000 more per year from Social Security.”

“If Pritzker gets elected, he and Illinois tyrant Madigan will see to it that these pensions are protected. The pension promises bring in the thousands of union and government employee votes. Taxes will increase at a devastating rate and more and more Illinoisans will leave the state, driving up the tax burden for those of us who stay.”

“It is just unreasonable to allow people to retire in their 50’s and early 60’s and expect taxpayers to foot the bill, but if Madigan gets his way and Pritzker wins the governor’s race, government pension reform won’t occur anytime soon,” concluded Tobin.

Click to View Top Rock Island IMRF Pensions

Click to View Top Rock Island SURS Pensions

Click to View Top Rock Island TRS Pensions

Sangamon Pension Promises Strap Taxpayers

View as PDF

Click here to view the Taxpayer Education Foundation’s 12th annual pension study

Springfield – Taxpayers United of America (TUA) today released its updated study on Springfield, Illinois government employee pensions, publishing the top 200 pensions for Springfield and Sangamon County Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF), the top 200 pensions of the Teachers’ Retirement Fund (TRS), and the top 200 pensions of State University Retirement System (SURS).

“Springfield and Sangamon County are in dire financial condition due to the funding of the government pensions throughout the county,” stated Jim Tobin, president of TUA.

“Springfield and Sangamon County have been increasing taxes at an unsustainable rate in order fund the unsustainable government pensions. Springfield increased its city sales tax by $0.25 and increased taxes on telecom services from 11% to 13% and Sangamon County has a property tax increase referendum on the 2018 ballot to increase Sales Taxes County wide.

“Not only is the county seeking a sales tax increase but Mt. Pulaski also has a $10 million property tax increase referendum for Mt. Pulaski High School. The Village of Jerome is seeking an additional property tax increase specifically for IMRF payments. On top of this, Rochester Public Library District is also supporting a property tax increase referendum on November 6.

“While IMRF pensions are funded by property taxes, other taxes free up money so Springfield and every other municipality can use these revenues for services in order to free up money for the state mandated property tax deposits to the IMRF fund. Every year, the IMRF portion of the property tax bill increases leaving fewer resources available for the services required for taxpayers. In 2017, about 18% of Springfield property tax revenue collected went to government employee pensions. If not reigned in, Springfield will find itself like Galesburg which pays a colossal 67% of its property taxes towards unnecessary lavish government pensions.”

  • Click here to see the top 200 Sangamon County TRS pensions
  • Click here to see the top 200 Springfield and Sangamon County IMRF pensions
  • Click here to see the top 200 Sangamon SURS pensions

“But J. B. Pritzker and House Speaker, Democrat Michael Madigan have plans to raise state income taxes if Pritzker wins the gubernatorial election on November 6,” added Tobin.

“Priztker advocates for an immediate income tax increase and also supports the Income Tax Increase Amendment, which would change the current flat-rate state income tax to a graduated state income tax. He and his buddy Madigan plan on placing the amendment on the November 2020 statewide ballot.”

“If the amendment passes, you can expect the state’s middle class to be decimated. Here’s why: House Bill 3522, filed by state Rep. Robert Martwick, D-Chicago, would tax incomes between $7,500 and $15,000 at 5.84 percent. For incomes between $15,000 and $225,000, the rate would be 6.27 percent. And for incomes over $225,000, the rate would be 7.65 percent. Some politicians are whispering about a maximum income tax rate as high as 9.85 percent,” added Tobin.

“The pension data speaks for itself. The average Sangamon County taxpayer’s Social Security pension is about $17,000 and is funded completely with private money from taxpayers and their employers.”

“IMRF pensioners collect Social Security on top of their very generous local government pensions so taxpayers are forced to shell out an additional 15% of the local government employee salaries.”

“TRS pensioner Michael D. Johnson enjoys a stunning $253,450 annual pension. He likely gets about $30,000 taxpayer funded Social Security on top of that. His TRS pension will accumulate to more than $9 million over a normal lifetime. This ‘poor civil servant’ retired at the ripe old age of 55 and he only paid little more than $310,000 into his own retirement.”

“Robert A. Alvey retired from Sangamon County Water Reclamation District with an annual pension of $152,415. He was 60 at retirement and only paid $103,555 into his own pension which will accumulate to about $3,656,771 over a normal lifetime.”

“Harry Berman retired from University of Illinois at Springfield with an annual pension of $176,906. Those annual pension payments will accumulate to about $4,036,350.”

“If Pritzker gets elected, he and Illinois tyrant Madigan will see to it that these pensions are subsidized by taxpayers.  The pension promises bring in the thousands of union and government employee votes. Taxes will increase at a devastating rate and more and more Illinoisans will leave the state, driving up the tax burden for those of us who stay.”

“It is just unreasonable to allow people to retire in their 50’s and early 60’s and expect taxpayers to foot the bill, but if Madigan gets his way and Pritzker wins the governor’s race, government pension reform won’t occur anytime soon,” concluded Tobin.

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