Taxpayers Fight Two Property Tax Increase Referendums On The April 2 Ballot

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Chicago – Taxpayers United of America (TUA) is working with taxpayers in Hinsdale Twp. HSD 86 and Barrington CUSD 220 to defeat property tax increase referenda in the upcoming April 2 election.

Click here to download the Hinsdale HSD 86 Vote No flyer

Click here to download the Barrington CUSD 220 Vote No flyer

“Both of these districts are pushing massive property tax increases that just aren’t necessary,” according to Jim Tobin, TUA president. “They want to fund wasteful and excessive building projects when Illinois and its individual communities are shrinking in population. People are leaving the state in droves, and here are two more governments that don’t care why: excessively high property taxes.”

Hinsdale HSD 86 has placed a $140 million bond issue on the April 2 ballot. Hinsdale voters soundly defeated a $166 million bond in last October’s election and yet another property tax increase for $76 million in bonds in 2017.

“It seems that Hinsdale HSD 86 bureaucrats are determined to waste even more taxpayer dollars by putting a third referendum on the ballot in as many years, despite dwindling enrollments,” said Tobin.

Hinsdale HSD 86 has seen its enrollment drop steadily over the last six years with a net decrease of about 224 students. One major cause in the enrollment drop is that Illinois has one of the highest rates of out-migration.

“The government hacks running Hinsdale HSD 86 haven’t made any budget cuts but expect taxpayers to take another pay-cut to fund the district’s excessive wish-list of construction projects. They pretend to make cuts, in an effort to hurt parents who voted down the referenda, but all of their phony cuts will be restored if this measure passes. There is not one permanent or meaningful spending cut!”

“The district could argue that they need money for safety and security updates, but that spending category only accounts for about $3.9 million of the $140 million they have put on the ballot. They have neglected to provide basic maintenance on facilities and now expect taxpayers to hand over millions of taxpayer dollars to correct their mismanagement.”

Barrington CUSD 220 has placed a $185 million property tax increase referendum on the April 2 ballot. Barrington CUSD 220 has also seen a steady decline in enrollment is are responsible for educating about 214 fewer students.

“CUSD 220 saw revenues increase .31% in the 2017/2018 school year and yet increased spending by 4.57%…on a dwindling student census.”

“Barrington bureaucrats are hitting taxpayers up for $185 million this year but this is only a down-payment on their 20 year pipe-dream plan of fleecing taxpayers out of $500 million for building projects.”

“They want $5.3 million for safety and security and don’t even create an annual budget for these improvements. That’s just remarkable.”

“Hinsdale HSD 86 and Barrington CUSD 220 share more than just similar demographics; they share a complete lack of regard for the taxpayers who must fund them. Both have let facilities deteriorate over the years without adequate planning or budgeting.”

“Worse than their complete lack of fiscal planning is their ignorance of how taxpayer funded operations work. Every time they plan a pay raise, benefit increase, instructional spending increase, etc., taxpayers must take a pay cut to fund it. If taxes go up $100 a year per taxpayer, every taxpayer has $100 less to spend on his or her wants and needs. So yes, every time they get more money to spend, we have less. And they really don’t care.”

“Government school bureaucrats want hundreds of millions more in taxpayer dollars to build lavish offices that are occupied only about 8 total months a year.”

“Neither of these affluent districts have made any cuts to spending. Why should they? They just put a property tax increase referendum on the ballot and cry about how it’s “for the children.”

“80% of local taxes go to fund government-employee salaries and benefits. So once you get past that spending, it starts being about the children. I urge everyone in these districts to vote No on April 2 and demand the government bureaucrats to cut spending, not increase it.”

“We have defeated 431 property tax increase referendums since I founded the organization in 1976. I can’t wait to add two more taxpayer victories to that number.”

Tell Ill. Senate Republican Leader: Don’t Conspire with Democrats!

Minority Leader of the Illinois Senate
Bill Brady

Springfield—Illinois Senate Republican leader Bill Brady so far has refused to oppose a massive 30 cent per gallon increase in the Illinois gasoline tax.

“This is ridiculous,” stated lifelong taxpayer advocate and President of Taxpayers United of America, Jim Tobin. “Less then two years ago Democrats held Illinois hostage for a five billion dollar income tax increase. Now the senate Republican leader doesn’t want to oppose Democrats who want to pass a two billion dollar increase to the gas tax? Refusing to stand in the way of this massive tax hike on poor and middle class taxpayers is a massive betrayal.”

“It’s not too late for him to change his mind,” continued Jim Tobin. “All it might take are some everyday taxpayers to remind Senator Brady that it is taxpayers, not empty CTA buses that matter. That is why I urge taxpayers to contact this senator, and remind him that he has a duty to the people to resist Springfield Tax Raisers.”

If you want to tell  Senator Bill Brady to oppose this TWO BILLION DOLLAR gasoline tax increase, you can find his contact information at the Illinois General Assembly website here: or call his office at (309) 664-4440.

Jim Tobin, A Friend Of Liberty (1945-2021)

By: Christina Tobin

Sometimes a single man or woman has to stand up for principle, just so the rest of us are reminded that principles exist. Such a man was Jim Tobin. 

Illinois lost its premier tax-fighter in December 2021 when Jim Tobin, president of Taxpayers United of America and Taxpayer Education Foundation, passed away at his home in Berwyn, Illinois.

While Tobin was well known for his nearly five decades of work resulting in defeating more than 400 tax increases on the citizens of Illinois, particularly the elderly, it was his relentless tenacity in fighting for what he thought to be right that was his true measure.

Jim was once described this way: “Tobin envisions himself as a modern-day Patrick Henry beating back ‘tax-eating’ politicians with the same fervor that inspired American colonists to confront the tax-eating British in 1776.”

In the article, “The Chicago Tax Strike of 1977,” Murray N. Rothbard told one of the best-known stories about Jim, who had just founded the National Taxpayers United of Illinois a year earlier in 1976: “In recent months, a mighty property-tax strike has been sweeping the northern suburbs of Chicago…James Tobin, 31-year-old economist, bank auditor and Illinois NTUI head who was to become the principal leader of the tax rebellion, urged an outright tax strike….”

“…The reassessments suddenly boosted property taxes by very large amounts: most raises were in the 50–65 percent range; other tax bills increased by as much as 300 percent. When the property-tax bills were sent out, the citizens of the North Shore reacted with shock and anger. At first, the reaction was outraged but inchoate: phone calls bombarded the Cook County Assessors Office. Complaints also deluged the Chicago Tribune, which initiated public knowledge of the firestorm of grievance by printing some of the complaints in a front-page article.”

That’s where Jim stepped in, not just once, but over 400 times in more than 40 years. But Jim wasn’t a mere anti-tax revolutionary. He was a man concerned with all the causes of his time that challenged injustice: civil rights, unjust wars, and the individual right and responsibility of the American citizen to stand up for what is right, including in running for office. He believed people have to “be the change they wish to see.”

Jim ran for Governor of Illinois in 1998 and as Illinois Lt. Governor with Cal Skinner in 2002 on the Libertarian Party ticket. He was challenged by entrenched politicians both times. Those ill-willed challenges rallied people around the country against the injustice of seeking to keep a true citizen-candidate off the ballot. Among other things, it inspired his daughter, Christina Tobin, at 17 years of age, not only to become involved in those elections but later to found the Free and Equal Elections Foundation to help citizen candidates all over the country.

The goal of our lives should be to strive for a perfect record of victory on the battlefield of principle. We will not always be correct, and need not be. Jim Tobin believed that we need only do our best to fight for liberty and justice for all, and we must, in that way, be true to ourselves. That is the way of a free life, and the measure of a truly free man. Jim Tobin was a great American and a great champion of the little guy. He also was my father.

Sometimes a single man or woman has to stand up for principle, just so the rest of us are reminded that principles exist. Such a man was Jim Tobin.


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Champaign–Val W. Zimnicki, Taxpayers United of America’s Director of Outreach, reports from Champaign on the city’s financial status.

“There are a lot of things that the City of Champaign has going for it,” said Zimnicki. “Unlike the rest of the state, Champaign is actually growing in population. The city has an economic powerhouse in the form of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The City also has done well with its finances, as shown by its triple A rating given to their bonds by Moody’s investment service.”

“My only question, for the city and Champaign taxpayers, is: How long will the good time continue?”

“The City of Champaign is not an island. The economic situation of the areas around it will affect the city. The state of Illinois, in which Champaign resides, has been dealing with economic mismanagement for years. Illinois’ bonds are rated by Moody’s at Baa2, meaning they are subject to moderate credit risk. They are considered medium grade and, as such, may possess certain speculative characteristics. Chicago, the economic engine for Illinois and roughly a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Champaign, is rated at Ba1. Ba1 bond ratings are judged to have speculative elements and are subject to substantial credit risk.”

“As the State of Illinois and most of its municipalities continue to struggle, they could drag the City of Champaign down with them. Higher property and state taxes and lower taxpayer investments in the University will damage Champaign in the long run.”

“Why are Illinois and many of its cities struggling? One thing only: Government employee pensions. And the pension fund for retired municipal workers is a reason why Champaign property taxes are going up.”

“The Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) sucks up Champaign property taxes, while the other government pensions are supplemented with the state income tax.”

“Every city in Illinois is struggling with government-employee pensions. Moody’s investment service reports that the City of Champaign proudly displays one of the top reasons for a downgrade: Growth in the city’s debt burden and pension burdens.”

“For example, in 2010 the City of Champaign paid $1,890,925 into IMRF (Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund), $3,364,726 into the police pension fund, and $3,202,615 into the firefighter’s pension fund. In 2020, the contribution to IMRF was $1,930,235, $6,165,648 went into the police pension fund, and $3,801,886 went into the firefighter’s pension fund.”

“While not nearly as disastrous as other less responsible cities, we are seeing a clear creep in taxpayer dollars going to pay for government-employee pensions. Additionally, the pensions that are being paid out are less than responsible.”

“For example, Steven C. Carter’s current annual IMRF pension is estimated to be $137,785 in 2020. He contributed $162,118 to his pension plan, and it is estimated he will receive $2,413,421 over a normal lifetime.”

“Robert T. Finney’s current annual IMRF pension is estimated to be $134,106 during 2020. He retired at age 51 and put only $153,814 into his pension fund. He is estimated to receive $4,540,906 from his IMRF pension over a normal lifetime.”

“Additionally, it is important to note that almost everyone with an IMRF pension is also eligible for Social Security.”

“The city of Champaign is doing well for now, but there is a sword hanging over its head. The price tag for government pensions is going up, including its property taxes, and the state around it is sinking. If the City of Champaign wishes to avoid a terrible economic crisis, it needs to be a frontrunner calling for the State of Illinois to institute pension reform before it’s too late.”


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Aurora–Taxpayers United of America’s Director of Outreach Val W. Zimnicki, in Aurora last week, called for the city to engage seriously with pension reform.

“It is fascinating how much things can change over 10 years.” Said Zimnicki.

“In 2011, the amount that taxpayers in the City of Aurora contributed to IMRF (Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund) with their property taxes was $2,712,000. (The IMRF sucks up property taxes, while the other government pensions are supplemented with the state income tax.)

The amount contributed to the police pension fund was $10,155,400, and the firefighter pension fund was $8,339,700. Let’s look at how these numbers compare to 2021.”

“In 2021, City of Aurora taxpayers’ property taxes subsidized IMRF with $4,005,000. The amount contributed to the police pension fund was $19,039,600, and to the firefighter pension fund, $15,291,100.”

“In the span of 10 years, Aurora taxpayers are spending millions more on the lavish, gold-plated pensions of retired government employees. IMRF pension payments have gone up 47.67%, police pension payments have gone up 87.48%, and firefighter pension payments have gone up 83.35%. These payments are made yearly, and are expected to go even higher next year.”

“Aurora Taxpayers cannot afford this burden. In a study done by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, it was revealed that the tax rate of a median-valued home in the United States was 1.49 percent in 2017. Only a handful of cities have effective tax rates that are roughly 2.5 times higher than the average, which includes Aurora. The City of Aurora was shown to have an effective property tax rate of 3.76%!”

“The fact that so many taxpayer dollars are pulled from Aurora taxpayer’s pockets and funneled into the black hole that is the Illinois pension system is abominable. Taxpayers are always told that taxes are used to fund ‘basic necessities.’ Instead, they are used to fund the lavish retirements of government employees who retire in their 50s and early 60s.”

“Take for example William A. Wiet. Wiet was estimated in 2020 to receive $137,049 annually from his IMRF pension. He paid $158,009 into his own pension, and is estimated to receive $3,365,886 over the course of his lifetime.”

“Another example is Steven E. Booth. Booth was estimated in 2020 to receive $130,451 annually from his IMRF pension. He paid $100,020 into his own pension, and is estimated to receive $3,891,301 over the course of his lifetime. Booth retired at the age of 55.”

“Instead of benefiting a handful of elite government pensioners to sit around unproductively, the State of Illinois and Gov. Jay Robert ‘J. B.’ Pritzker should implement pension reform to reduce taxpayer burdens. Meaningful tax cuts can bring growth back to Illinois, and reverse the outflow of Illinois residents.”

“To that end, the City of Aurora should stop being a benefactor of government pensions and, instead, be a responsible steward of taxpayer’s money. It is time for those responsible for the City of Aurora’s finances to take a stand, and demand pension reform.”