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.”

The Illinois Road Hysteria

Champaign Road Illinois

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Smelling blood in the water, special interest groups and tax thieving politicians pounced on the possibility of an Illinois capital spending bill. To fund the capital spending bill’s road and transit projects, politicians and activists have called for a gas tax increase of 20 cents per gallon with the highest rate pushed as high as 85 cents per gallon. To accept the capital bill and its likely tax increases, groups like the Fight Back Fund have been airing propaganda to scare Illinois motorists.  The organization is headed by Marc Poulos, executive director of the Indiana, Illinois, Iowa Foundation for Fair Contracting, which represents the powerful International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150One of their commercials promoting the lavish road spending made allusions to children being harmed in car accidents as reasons to support such a bill. The ad even ended with the call to action, “How many more people have to die before we act?” What these anti-taxpayer scare tactics don’t want you to know though, is that Illinois roads are surprisingly good.

The American Society for Civil Engineers (ASCE), a society known for their advocacy on infrastructure projects, has graded the Illinois road network at a D, or “poor,” with the overall infrastructure graded at a C-.  These are not the grades you would want you son or daughter to come home with, but there is a problem with this rating system. It does nothing to reference what poor means. They can cite why they gave it a poor grade, but can only compare its grade with other U.S. states. Poor can mean a 95% score for all the good it does. Thankfully, since the ASCE also rated the United States road network as a whole as a D too, we can compare the Illinois grade with other countries. So what is the condition of America’s roads?

The condition of America’s roads are actually very good. According to reports published by the World Economic forum, of the 137 countries measured the United States has the 10th best roads in the world.  On a global sliding scale from 1-7 with a 7 being the best, the United States scored a 5.7 in total. This score beats out other developed countries like Germany which scored a 5.5 for it’s rank of 15th place. So if the ASCE ranks Illinois as the same as the national average, a D grade, then Illinois has some of the best roads in the world, even better than Germany’s roads.

Some would criticize the declaration that Illinois has surprisingly good roads by pointing to the Illinois bridge issue. Over two weeks ago an Illinois bridge on Lake Shore Drive made headlines by having cracks in its steel supports. It is also a fact that there are 2,290 structurally deficient bridges in Illinois. However, despite the scary sounding classification what structurally deficient means is more mundane. From the Federal Highway Administration, “Bridges are considered structurally deficient if significant load-carrying elements are in poor condition due to deterioration or damage.” That is it, just poor condition. Now consider the fact only 9% of the Illinois bridges are “structurally deficient” and the problem is a lot smaller than how it is presented.

Illinois infrastructure is fine. The gas tax already brings in over a billion dollars a year, and should not be raised. In fact, Illinois roads would be even better if Illinois politicians did not steal billions from the fund for other projects, or use the funds to subsidize empty Chicago Transit Authority buses. Instead, Illinois government should take a stand for taxpayers, forget a massive multi-billion dollar tax increase, and live within its means like everyone else.

Pritzker Defends Lavish Government Pensions Despite Economic Reality

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Yesterday Ill. Gov. Jay Robert “J. B.” Pritzker (D) delivered a budget address promising to raise taxes on Illinois taxpayers to pay lavish Illinois government pensions.

From the speech, “We will dedicate a portion of the new fair income tax – in other words, hundreds of millions of dollars – to the pension system, over and above our required pension payments. We will infuse new assets into the system up front.”

This is a promise to slam taxpayers with the Pritzker Amendment, a graduated state income tax increase on the Illinois Middle-class. The statement means driving more taxpayers out of their homes. Worst of all though, is that it makes it harder on future generations to live in Illinois. It is an accepted fact that 20 cents of every dollar taxpayers send the state will go toward public sector pensions. By taking out billions of dollars in debt and kicking the can down the road again, that future number could be even higher.

Jim Tobin, President of Taxpayers United of America, offered more realistic solutions. “Cut the pensions, put all new hires in a 401(k) style plan, and allow local governments to declare bankruptcy. I have said this for years, but and here we are. Moody’s estimates the government pension funds are $250 billion in debt, and everything J.B. has proposed will just make things worse in the long run.”