PENSION CONSOLIDATION BILLS WOULD RAISE PROPERTY TAXES WITHOUT REFERENDUM AND WEAKEN THE SOUND PENSION PLANS

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CHICAGO—The head of Taxpayers United of America (TUA) today voiced his group’s opposition to long-standing requests of Illinois cities and towns to consolidate more than 650 police and fire pension funds, saying that the funds are in such bad financial condition that property tax increases, without property tax increase referendums, would result, and that the funds still would be essentially insolvent. Jim Tobin, TUA president, also voiced opposition specifically to House Bill 1567, sponsored by St. Rep. Ryan Spain (R-73, Peoria), which would amend the Illinois Pension Code to merge all Article 3 police officers’ pension funds and Article 4 firefighters’ pension funds into the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) on January 1, 2021.

“Illinois’ five statewide government-employee pension funds have a staggering $134 billion in unfunded liabilities,” said Tobin. “Chicago’s four pension funds are struggling with $28 billion in unfunded liabilities.”

“Merging government pension funds would solve nothing, and the better-funded pension funds would see their assets diluted.”

“Illinois Governor Jay Robert ‘J. B.’ Pritzker (D) has appointed a task force to recommend changed to the statewide pension funds, but we know what’s coming. Cook County machine boss Pritzker orchestrated placing the Income Tax Increase Amendment on the 2020 statewide ballot, which would strangle Illinois’ economy with a graduated state income tax.”

“Almost all the money from the last huge income tax increase was plowed into the state’s floundering pension plans for retired government employees, and it didn’t even move the needle. If boss Pritzker succeeds in fooling voters into approving his income tax increase amendment, even that crushing tax hike would not solve the state pension crisis.”

“To be clear: It is impossible for the state to tax its way out of the state’s pension fund crisis. The pension funds are too far gone.”

“The only solution is to place all newly-hired government employees in 401(k) retirement plans, and, if necessary, place the worst of the present pension plans into bankruptcy.”

GOV. PRITZKER ORCHESTRATES REGRESSIVE TAXES ON MIDDLE CLASS AND POOR

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The president of Illinois’ largest taxpayer organization today issued a statement condemning Gov. Jay Robert “J. B.” Pritzker for betraying Illinois’ middle class and poor by significantly raising gasoline and cigarette taxes.

“Illinois’ corpulent con-man Pritzker has pushed these cruel and destructive tax increases on the state’s middle class and poor,” said Jim Tobin, president of Taxpayers United of America (TUA). “While middle class taxpayers struggle to make ends meet, the bloated $45 billion ‘infrastructure’ spending package passed is a payoff to the state’s labor unions that feed the Democrat machine. Adding insult to injury, the legislators that passed these massive tax increase will get a pay raise of $1,600 annually.”

“Retired state employees are literally becoming pension millionaires on the backs of workers in the private sector who are funding these lavish, gold-plated pensions with their taxes. In the meantime, these private sector workers, many of whom are losing their retirement plans, must pay a lot more for gasoline and cigarettes.”

“The state’s residents who are poor are the most affected by the enormous, regressive tax increases on these items.”

“The doubling of the state’s 19-cent-per-gallon motor fuel tax to 38 cents, higher fees for license plates and driver’s licenses, a 15% tax on e-cigarettes. and the $1-per-pack cigarette tax hike on the current $1.98 state tax are outrageous.”

“It’s time Illinois voters woke up to how much they are being ripped-off by Pritzker and his fellow Springfield tax-raisers for the benefit of special interests.”

Taxpayers In Springfield Protest Pritzker’s New Middle Class Taxes

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Springfield–Jim Tobin, President of Taxpayers United of America (TUA), and other taxpayer activists staged a protest in the Illinois State Capitol Building on May 21. The protest was held in opposition to the nearly endless demands for newer and higher taxes proposed by Gov. Jay Robert “J. B.” Pritzker and other tax thieves. 

Tobin, who spoke to the crowd at the protest, had harsh words for the current Illinois Governor. “Pritzker promised not to increase taxes on the middle class,” said Tobin. “He lied! Pritzker’s $2.4 Billion gasoline tax increase is a tax increase on the middle class.”

Pritzker has promised many new regressive taxes that will largely hurt the poor and middle class. As reported by the Chicago Tribune, some of the new taxes could be placed on ride-sharing, cable streaming, alcohol purchases, plastic bag usage, parking garage fees, cigarettes, electric vehicles, car registration fees and gasoline. These taxes are all regressive in nature, as they take up a larger share of an individual’s income compared to other taxes.

Of all the regressive and anti-middle class taxes being pushed however, the taxes for “road improvement” is the worst scam that Pritzker is pushing. As exposed in a Taxpayer Education Foundation study, a large part of the gasoline taxes collected in Illinois are funneled into the bloated bureaucracy that is Chicago government transit. This money is being stolen from non-Chicago taxpayers to fund lavish government employee pensions and subsidize an obsolete, 19th Century transit system. 

“The corpulent con man Pritzker is no savior of the middle class,” said Tobin. “He is determined to pillage the Illinois middle class to enrich the Chicago government class. This is irresponsible and legalized theft on a statewide scale.”

“That is why these grassroots protests are so important, now more than ever. We need to show Illinois government that Illinois taxpayers will resist new tax increases every step of the way.”