A bi-partisan bill recently passed the Illinois House of
Representatives that would ban red light cameras in non-Home Rule
municipalities. The bill passed 84-4 on Wednesday and will now move to the
“Banning unreliable red-light cameras in non-Home Rule
municipalities is a win for taxpayers, but Springfield can do better,” said Matthew
Schultz, Executive Director of Taxpayers United of America (TUA). “The primary
function of red-light cameras is to steal money from taxpayers with an indirect
tax. If the bill becomes law, bureaucrats in non-Home Rule municipalities will
be barred from imposing this tax.
“In fact,” added Schultz, “This provides a stronger reason
for taxpayers to reject Home Rule in the March 17 election.”
“As TUA founder and President Jim Tobin has always said, Home
Rule means home ruin. With Home Rule, local bureaucrats can run wild with tax
increases. Home Rule means bureaucrats are
no longer limited on how high property
taxes can be increased; it robs taxpayers of the right to directly vote on tax increases;
it puts a municipality on the path of creating a municipal income tax, and may
be the only way a local government can introduce red light cameras.”
“Taxpayers need to reject Home Rule referenda and the upcoming
state income tax increase in the election on November 3. Local and state
governments need to learn to live within their means like taxpayers. The only
way for taxpayers to get that message across is to defeat these huge tax
increase measures whenever they are on the ballot.”
The Taxpayer Education Foundation (TEF) today released its
study of the Lake County area government-employee pensions, highlighting the
top pensions in the Teachers Retirement System (TRS), the State Universities
Retirement System (SURS) and the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF).
Taxpayers United of America (TUA) issued the following statement based on the
TEF pension study.
“It is no mystery what’s driving the economy-killing
property tax increases in Lake County,” said Jim Tobin, TUA president. “It’s
the state’s lavish, gold-plated pension plans for retired government
“The perpetual tax increases that plague Illinois residents
have nothing to do with children, roads, or services. They are about pensions
for the privileged government class. This money may be ‘earmarked’ for
buildings or whatever, but in reality it only frees up increased taxes for
government pensions. It’s a shell game.”
“Those of us in the private sector must reduce our spending
if our income decreases; we can’t just go to our employer and demand more money
to fund irresponsible spending. That’s not true for the political class.”
“The IMRF pension fund, which gives lavish, gold-plated pension
benefits to retired municipal employees, is subsidized by property taxes. If
that isn’t bad enough, IMRF pensioners are also eligible to receive Social
“When you look at what the individual government retirees
are actually collecting in taxpayer-funded pensions, you can get a better idea
of why this theft of taxpayer wealth is so outrageous. Keep in mind that the
average taxpayer will collect only about $17,500 a year from Social Security.”
“Here are some egregious examples.”
“Dwight Magalis retired from the Lake County government at
the age of 52! His current annual pension from IMRF is $172,303. He will
receive $3,030,251 in total pension payments over a normal lifetime. He also is
eligible for Social Security. ”
“Henry S. Bangser retired from New Trier TWP HSD 203 at the
age of 57. His current annual pension is $331,489. For a total contribution he
made to his pension of only $336,612, he will accumulate $9,557,306 in taxpayer
funded pension payments over a normal lifetime. What a racket!”
“Girard Weber retired from the College of Lake County at the
age of 66. His current annual pension is $304,266. For a total contribution he
made to his pension of only $314,282, he will receive $7,015,970 in total
pension payments over a normal lifetime. Wow!”
“Linda L. Yonke retired from New Trier TWP HSD 203 at the
age of 63. Her current annual pension is $263,645. She will receive $7,484,592
in total pension payments over a normal lifetime.”
“The entire local and statewide pension system in Illinois
is unsustainable. The other five statewide pension funds are partly funded by
the state income tax. Democrat Governor Jay Robert ‘J. B.’ Pritzker and his
tax-raising cronies want to stick it to middle class taxpayers by increasing
the state income tax again. They placed, on the November 2020 ballot, another
statewide income tax increase.
What does a statewide income tax increase mean for you? It
means stealing from you to subsidize government pension millionaires.”
“The federal graduated income tax was sold to taxpayers as
‘a tax cut for the middle class.’ How did that turn out?”
“The state government employee pension system is the single
cause of Illinois’ critical financial situation and it is mathematically
impossible to tax our way out of this situation.”
“The Illinois government in Springfield has failed us. It’s
in everyone’s best interest to solve the pension problem before the system
completely collapses. It is no longer a matter of ‘if’ it will collapse, but
“All new hires should be placed into 401(k) style retirement
savings accounts. Member contributions to their retirement funds should be
increased. Retirement age for full benefits should be increased to at least 65,
preferably to 67, and contributions for health care also should be increased.
Anything short of these reforms will do nothing to permanently solve the
The economic and demographic future of Illinois is now in the hands of the Illinois State House, as (SJRCA1) was approved by the Illinois Senate.
The state is hemorrhaging residents and companies, and if this state income tax increase passes, and is approved by voters, the state will likely never recover. Illinois is circling the drain as we speak.
Gov. Pritzker says that this will be a tax on the “rich,” and that the tax will ensure fairness. This is totally untrue; in fact, the very opposite is the case.
The Illinois Pension Crisis continues to cost taxpayers more every year, and the Illinois exodus has reached historic levels. As it has been shown in the state of New York, wealthy taxpayers will leave because of higher taxes. Passing Pritzker’s Income Tax Increase Amendment will increase the outflow of taxpayers, and consequently lower expected tax revenues. So who will pay when the money taken from taxpayers falls short? The middle class.
This is a middle class tax increase!
Rates for individuals under Gov. Pritzker’s plan would jump to nearly 8 percent for anyone earning more than $250,000 per year. For those with incomes of more than $1 million annually, the 7.95 percent rate would not be marginalized—it would be applied to every dollar, not just income of more than $1 million!
The proposed tax increase omits inflation indexing (resulting in “bracket creep”), creates a marriage penalty, and includes a recapture provision that subjects the entirety of a taxpayer’s income to the top marginal rate once they reach that bracket!
Should this graduated-rate income tax become law, rates may climb even higher, and more taxpayers could be subjected to higher rates.
The neighboring states of Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, and Missouri have all cut income taxes in recent years, while Illinois is headed in the opposite direction. This may be our last chance to save the state from economic collapse. Taxpayers must call their representative and tell them to vote NO on a tax increase on the middle class.
Representatives should instead focus on reigning in lavish public spending, instead of chasing away their constituents and promote pro-growth reforms to help Illinois prosper.
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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