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CHICAGO—The president of Taxpayers United of America (TUA) today condemned the politicians running the Village of Merrionette Park, IL, for using taxpayer dollars to urge its taxpayers to give them unlimited Home Rule taxing powers.
“Home Rule is the most insidious form of local government in the U.S.,” said Jim Tobin, TUA President. “It eliminates the protection of property tax caps and allows local governments to raise taxes without limit, and to create new taxes with which to bludgeon taxpayers.”
“Home Rule gives no advantages to taxpayers, but is a gift to local politicians who want to raise taxes. The highly misleading Village mailing entitled ‘Is Home Rule Right for Merrionette Park?’ states that ‘The Village Board commits to No Increase in Property Tax should this pass.’ It adds, ‘And, keep in mind, voters can always rescind if home rule isn’t for them’.”
“Once local politicians get unlimited Home Rule taxing powers, they will use every trick in the book to keep taxpayers from repealing it.”
“It’s disgraceful that taxpayer dollars are being used to convince the same taxpayers to put their heads in the noose of Home Rule. It is essential that every taxpayer in Merrionette Park vote ‘NO’ on this Home Rule referendum.”
“Once taxpayers give up their rights, it’s very hard to get them back.”
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East Dundee—The Fox Valley Libertarian Party (FVLP) hosted an open meeting to educate voters on the danger of home rule, and invited Taxpayers United of America (TUA) President Jim Tobin to be their guest speaker. The speech was directed at East Dundee residents, who will decide on March 20th whether their village will cease to be a Home Rule unit. In his speech, Jim Tobin warned taxpayers that Home Rule is the most insidious form of government in America.
“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.”
The FVLP meeting took place at the River Street Tavern in East Dundee. The room was filled past maximum capacity, forcing many community members to stand to hear Tobin’s speech. The meeting lasted past the time it was supposed to end, as greedy pro-Home Rule village trustees both past and present disrupted the taxpayer meeting.
During the meeting the trustees tried to justify Home Rule by pointing out the $30 million in bond debt the government issued. What they didn’t say, was that it was Home Rule that allowed the bonds to be issued without voter approval. Home Rule is “needed” to pay off these debts, presumably using the unlimited taxing power to raise village property taxes. The Village of East Dundee only has a population of 3,182 as of 2016. The trustees also denied that property taxes pay village government retires, which they actually do through the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF).
Julie Fox, Chair of the FVLP stated, “We started a conversation that needed to happen. I consider this one of the most successful FVLP chapter meetings we’ve ever had.”
TUA, along with other local activists are also opposing Home Rule in Rockford, and Homewood.
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.
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.
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