Referenda Watch 2016: Tax Hikes!

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Chicago — It’s that time of year again: when trees are aflame with fall colors, football is in full swing, the little goblins are blissfully anticipating the thought of mountains of candy, and…the government cabal is again reaching for your wallet!
Rather than cut spending to meet the existing revenue, hundreds of government agencies are expecting voters to approve measures that will steal even more of our hard-earned money.
In these difficult economic times, government school bureaucrats are seeking bond issues of gargantuan proportions to build new schools, athletic facilities, and other non-educational expenditures.
These bonds and the interest on the principle are paid by raising your property taxes.
Champaign Community Unit School District #4 is seeking an unbelievable $183.4 million in bond debt for building enhancements, additions, and even a new building. This is their third bite at the apple as referenda for $144 Million and $149 million have failed in the most recent elections.
If that isn’t bad enough, the Village of Round Lake Park is seeking a bond issue approval of $5.4 million to reduce the amount of unfunded pension liabilities for the police. Borrowing money to pay a debt is much like paying one credit card with another. This practice can lead to nothing but trouble for the taxpayers of Round Lake Park.
Overall, there are 218 tax-increase, advisory, and other miscellaneous referenda on the ballot for the general election on Tuesday, November 8, 2016.
Please check the list at the link below to see if you will be facing any of these referenda on your ballot. We need to send a loud and clear message to the government bureaucrats that we have had enough!
Tuesday, November 8, 2016 General Election Referenda
Taxpayers United has been fighting for taxpayers for over forty years. We have saved taxpayers billions of their hard-earned dollars by helping to defeat 420 local property tax increases since our founding in 1976.

Are Illinoisans Preparing for a Tax Revolt?

View as PDF Chicago — On October 12, 2016, dozens of Illinois taxpayers from Taxpayers United of America (TUA) and Illinois Tax Revolution (ITR) converged on the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago to protest devastating property tax hikes, calling for immediate reforms at the local and state level.
ITR co-founders Bob Anderson of Wonder Lake, Joe Tirio of Woodstock, and Dan Aylward of McHenry have organized two previous tax protests since founding their new grassroots movement this past summer. They made headlines earlier this year when members of the newly formed group began paying the first and second installments of their property tax bills in dollar bills.
51440Working with TUA, both groups are pursuing systemic changes to local and state government in Illinois, including property tax relief, government pension reform, and consolidating school districts and the roughly 7,000 taxing bodies in Illinois, or eliminating some of them altogether.
“The Cato Institute recently published its annual Freedom in the 50 States analysis, and unfortunately for our residents, Illinois is ranked 44th for fiscal, regulatory, and personal freedom policies overall,” said Jared Labell, executive director of Taxpayers United of America (TUA).
“The study clearly explains why Illinois is one of the most fiscally irresponsible states today. Whether it’s regarding local taxes (ranked 49th), government subsidies (ranked 47th), government debt (ranked 44th), or overall fiscal policy (ranked 48th), Illinois’ state and local governments are getting away with highway robbery every day that they operate on taxpayers’ dollars without implementing long-lasting reforms to solve their perpetual fiscal nightmare.”
71438“Illinoisans’ residential property-tax burden has risen by 76 percent in the last quarter-century. In the span of just a few decades, residential taxpayers now pay more than two-thirds of all property taxes in Illinois, which has the second-highest residential property taxes in the country.”
“We are proud to be working alongside the members of Illinois Tax Revolution in our pursuit of rolling back property taxes, reforming government pensions, and eliminating financially burdensome and unnecessary taxing bodies in Illinois,” said Labell.
“Our concerns will be taken to Springfield during the fall veto session, and we intend to speak with the leadership of the Illinois General Assembly and Gov. Rauner (R) to ensure that government officials hear our grievances loud and clear. With the help of our supporters and taxpayers across Illinois, there is no doubt that our message will be heard and addressed.”
“Nearly forty years after TUA’s founder and president, Jim Tobin, led his successful property tax strike, another tax revolt is on the horizon and portends to be more widespread. Taxpayer outrage can only be quelled by reducing the tax burden currently smothering average folks across Illinois,” said Labell. “The politicians would prefer that we remained silent, but we have a message for the taxpayers of Illinois: Taxes are revolting, why aren’t you?”

CTU is Overpaid, Yet Threatens to Strike

View as PDF Chicago — “Last week, the majority of Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) members authorized CTU to prepare to strike,” said Jim Tobin, President of Taxpayers United of America (TUA). “This strike authorization vote and Wednesday night’s special meeting of CTU’s House of Delegates will determine what path the union will go down. Whatever the results, it doesn’t look good for Chicago taxpayers.”
“CTU members tend to see themselves as modern-day Robin Hoods,” said Tobin. “But in reality, they confiscate your property taxes like the Sheriff of Nottingham.”
“Chicago homeowners, through their property taxes, have been picking up the tab for 7 of the 9 percent contributions to the Chicago teachers’ pension fund. Mayor Rahm Emanuel now wants teachers to pay the full 9 percent of their pension contributions. Naturally, the leaders of the CTU are beside themselves.”
“Let’s review what’s going on. The average salary for Chicago teachers is $70,133. With 10 to 14 years of service, a Chicago teacher’s average salary equals more than $84,000 a year. Chicago’s teachers are the highest paid in the nation when compared with teachers in the U.S.’ 10 largest school districts.”
“Last year, 28,114 beneficiaries received $1.3 billion in pensions from the teachers’ fund. The average retirement age is 61. The average annual pension is $51,454 compared with a median household income in Chicago of $47,831.”
“In other words, on average, a retired teacher gets more money for doing nothing than a Chicagoan who is still working to make ends meet.”
Illinois Policy, in a March 1, 2016 study, pointed out that almost 40 percent of teachers retire before age 60. CPS teachers can retire far earlier than workers in the private sector, who have to wait until age 67 to collect full Social Security benefits.”
“Since 1997, teacher pension benefits have grown 6 percent a year. The system is functionally bankrupt. A well-managed pension fund should be fully funded. The Chicago Teachers Pension Fund is only 51.5 percent funded.”
“The greed and intransigence of the Chicago Teachers Union is mind-boggling,” said Tobin. “Not only should CTU members pay the full 9 percent contribution to their pension fund, but they probably need to contribute a lot more than that. Furthermore, the retirement age should be raised to 67.”
“The leaders of the Chicago Teachers Union put legendary villains like the Sheriff of Nottingham to shame.”