Busting Tax Schemes for Decades

View as PDF Chicago—Taxpayers United of America (TUA) have fought against higher taxes, reckless spending, and government largesse for nearly forty years. As we look back at our decades of activism and education of taxpayers, TUA is releasing some footage from our archives featuring our president and founder, Jim Tobin.

In April of 1991, Illinois State Senator Richard Luft (D-Pekin) sponsored a 20% increase to the Illinois state income tax. The bill aimed to raise $1 billion in state income taxes, and as is now commonplace in Illinois, the legislation was sold to the media and the public as the solution to the state’s financial problems. But Jim Tobin, TUA president and founder, knew better.
Tobin created a campaign called the Luftbusters to travel around the state and encourage taxpayers to fight back against Illinois’ largest tax increase, State Senator Richard Luft’s 20% state income tax hike. The legislation included the elimination of some property tax deductions and making the temporary state income tax surcharge permanent.
Government unions and teachers argued that schools would not survive without the state income tax hike. But Tobin saw this claim as just another way for the government schools to expropriate more taxpayers’ dollars.
“That is the best remedy for the educational problem we have here in Illinois: tuition tax credits and vouchers. And let people use their own money to put their children in the school of their choice,” said Tobin. “There is no correlation between spending per student and academic performance.”
The 20% state income tax hike was supported by the Taxpayers Federation of Illinois, Civic Federation, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Manufacturers Association, Illinois Retail Merchants Association, Chicago Association of Commerce & Industry, Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Education Association, and the Illinois Municipal League.
Despite the best efforts of Luftbusters and taxpayers around the state, the state income tax increase was eventually signed into law by Gov. Jim Edgar (R). The $1 billion in new state income taxes did nothing to solve Illinois’ financial problems.
After dutifully aiding the passage of the state income tax hike, and rather than facing angry taxpayers at the polls, State Senator Luft accepted an appointment as state banking commissioner by Gov. Edgar in 1993. Business as usual for Illinois politics, unfortunately, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
Real reform was needed in 1991 – and real reform is still needed today.
Taxpayers United of America is here to fight for you.


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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