Press

Batavia Home Rule Meeting

Jim Tobin, economist and President of Taxpayers United of America gave a presentation on how Home Rule affects taxpayers. Mr. Tobin has spent decades fighting home rule throughout Illinois, calling it, “the most insidious form of government in America”.

In 1970, Illinois adopted a new constitution that designated any municipality with a population greater than 25,000 as a home rule unit. In addition, municipalities can vote to adopt Home Rule, or repeal Home Rule if they already have it. “Illinois Home Rule gives unlimited taxing power to bureaucrats,” said Jim Tobin

In some cases, Home Rule even takes away citizens’ right to vote on vital city issues and limits citizens’ voice in government mayoral and council elections. “Taxpayers are effectively muzzled, except at election time, and even then, their choices are limited,” according to Tobin.

The Illinois version of so-called Home Rule strips citizens of control over local politicians’ power to tax, to regulate, and to incur debt. The Illinois version denies citizens the right to have a local charter or constitution to protect taxpayers from abuse or incompetence by office holders and from the hazard of easy access to public funds for developers, lawyers, bankers, and government workers.

Illinois bypasses the people of the community and puts all the power of local government into the hands of politicians. That’s why students of government and political science have described the Illinois version of so-called home rule as the most insidious form of government anywhere in the United States of America. It is government by personality instead of government by principle.

Without the controls of a local charter or constitution, and with citizens stripped of their right to vote on city issues, so-called Home Rule in Illinois empowers politicians to:

1) Raise taxes without citizen permission.
2) Impose new taxes in the form of fees, licenses, and regulations.
3) Expedite seizures of private property.
4) Give city property to private interests without competitive bidding.
5) Take greater control over citizens’ lives, livelihoods, property, and liberty.

Rockford Pensions Release

This story has been featured by CBS and NBC. Click here to view the CBS report, and click here to view the NBC report.

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Rockford – Taxpayers United of America (TUA) today released the updated study on Rockford, Illinois government employee pensions, publishing the top 200 pensions for Rockford Illinois Municipal Retirement (IMRF) fund and the top 200 pensions of the Teachers’ Retirement Fund (TRS).

“Rockford taxpayers, like the rest of Illinois, can’t afford to pay for outrageous pension promises made decades ago by greedy political hacks. These pensions are nothing more than a contract for union votes and have nothing to do with providing services to taxpayers,” stated Jim Tobin TUA’s president and former economist.

“Everyone knows that property taxes, used to fund the IMRF pensions of the Rockford municipal and county employees, have been rising out of control. Illinois is second in the nation for homes under water on their mortgage with more than 15% of homes worth less than the amount owed. Add to that the crippling property tax bills and Rockford is in the top 20 U.S. cities for foreclosures.”

  • Click here to see the top 200 Rockford TRS pensions
  • Click here to see the top 200 Rockford IMRF Pensions
  • Click here to see the top 200 Rock Valley College SURS pensions

“The teachers’ pensions are some of the most outrageously lavish in the state and gubernatorial candidate J. B. Pritzker is on his way to bail them out at the expense of Illinois taxpayers. If Pritzker is elected governor, he will quickly slam taxpayers with a huge increase in the flat-rate state income tax. Then, he will support the Income Tax Increase Amendment, which would create a graduated income tax increase for middle class taxpayers.

“Illinois is first in the country in outmigration; more taxpayers are moving out of the state than into the state. That means that those of us who stay will have to pay even more in taxes to bail out the lavish, unnecessary government pension that have bankrupted Illinois,” added Tobin.

“Just look at the pensions we are paying for, and in an area that has barely climbed out of the financial slump that most of the rest of the country has nearly forgotten. If Pritzker wins the gubernatorial election, there will be no stopping the Democrats from stealing every last dime from taxpayers.”

“Alan S. Brown, who retired from Rockford government schools, rakes in $177,989 in annual pension payments. This poor, overworked, ‘civil servant’ retired at the ripe old age of 55! Assuming he lives until 85, he will collect $5,320,870. His contribution to that multi-million dollar payout was only 3.3%.”

“Winnebago County retiree Paul A. Vogli also does pretty well with an annual pension of $164,652. He will collect about $4,254,294 in lifetime payments.”

“Nearly all IMRF employees are also eligible for Social Security pensions in addition to their IMRF pensions,” added Tobin

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

CHICAGO FED PROPOSAL TO HELP ILLINOIS: NEW STATEWIDE PROPERTY TAX!

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CHICAGO—The president of Taxpayers United of America (TUA) today condemned the recommendation released May 13 under the letterhead of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to introduce a statewide 1% property tax to bail out the floundering government-employee pension plans in the state.
“This recommendation is not only astounding, it’s irresponsible,” said Jim Tobin, TUA president, economist and former Federal Reserve auditor.
“Illinois taxpayers already are heavily subsidizing the lavish, gold-plated pension plans of retired government employees. The $5 billion generated by the latest state income tax increase is being poured into the black hole of the state pension funds, and still the funds are essentially insolvent.”
“It’s impossible for the state to tax its way out of this mess, but tax thieves still propose new and higher taxes for Illinois taxpayers. More taxpayers have fled Illinois than any other state, but this doesn’t seem to register with tax-and-spend politicians.”
“The reasons given for this recommendation are pathetic. Because homeowners purportedly have benefited most from government ‘services,’ say the three authors of this proposal, they should pay a larger share of the costs of bailing out the state pension plans. In other words, they say the most successful people in the private sector should pay more to support these extravagant pension plans.”
“Illinois is bankrupt in fact, if not in name, and the only way to keep the state from going under is to place a state constitutional amendment on the statewide ballot to allow reductions in these pension benefits. All new government hires should be put into their own 401(k) accounts, and current retirees must greatly increase their contributions to their pension plans.”
“A statewide 1% property tax would devastate the already-feeble Illinois economy, and accelerate the departure of the middle class from Illinois.”

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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.

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