View as PDF Dixon, IL – Lee and Whiteside County area government pensions are decimating area taxpayers according to a study by the state’s largest taxpayer group, Taxpayers United of America (TUA). The study reveals the individual pensions paid to the retirees of Sterling, Dixon, Lee County, Whiteside County government employees.
“Our study shows that Lee and Whiteside County taxpayers are still being robbed blind by government bureaucrats in the form of lavish, gold-plated pensions,” stated TUA’s executive director, Rae Ann McNeilly.
“Dixon taxpayers should have taken back some of the money stolen from them by former comptroller, Rita Crundwell, when they had the chance.”
“Instead, Dixon politicians took the money from one thief and spread it around many thieves by dumping recovered millions into the immoral pension cabal.”
“This is the epitome of throwing good money after bad. This one-time infusion of cash will only slightly delay the inevitable hard-fail of an unsustainable crony system designed to siphon money from taxpayers for the benefit a the few.”
“Dixon and Sterling are increasing the property tax levy by the maximum allowable amount without a referendum or hearing year after year. True to bureaucratic form, Sterling city administrator, Scott Shumer, blames other bureaucrats for making the increase necessary because ‘the cities have no say’ in setting pension benefits.”
“But as the state budget is cut and less money will be sent back to municipalities, bureaucrats like Shumer will continue to reach into taxpayers’ wallets to feed their lust for other peoples’ money rather than cut expenses to balance budgets.”
“For those of us in the private sector, we must reduce our spending if our income decreases; we can’t just go to our employer and demand more money to fund irresponsible spending.”
“Yes, the pension promises made constitute irresponsible spending! Where else can a person get guaranteed payouts of millions on such a small personal investment?”
“Consider the annual pension of $169,467 being paid to retired government teacher, Boyce J. Wolf from Rock Falls TWP HSD 301. His estimated lifetime payout is $5.7 million! Retiring at the ripe old age of 57, his personal investment in that gold-plated payout was a mere $174,215, or 3.1%.”
“Then there is Gerald L. Carslon, retired from the Dixon municipal government. He get’s $44,911 in annual pension payments but because he retired at only 55, those payments with compounded annual cost of living adjustments will accumulate to more than $2 million! His personal investment was only about 3.1% or $62,918.”
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“The average Social Security ‘pension’ is only about $15,000 a year and taxpayers pay about 15% of every penny they earn for that modest payout.”
“There are hundreds of area government pensions getting theses lavish, million dollar pensions. Statewide there are more than 11,000 government retirees getting more than $100,000 a year in pension payments.”
“This pension cabal is the single cause of Illinois’ critical financial situation and it is mathematically impossible to tax our way out of this situation.”
“This financial squeeze of paying for yesterday’s services with today’s tax dollars is only going to get worse if Governor Rauner successfully cuts spending in the coming years. Any relief of those spending cuts will never reach taxpayers if municipal governments continue to increase the property tax levies as is happening throughout Lee and Whiteside Counties.”
“The Illinois government has failed us; local governments have failed us. Government employees would rally behind pension reform if their union bosses and the pols they elect were honest with them about the future of their pensions. It is 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 when.”
“Immediately place all new hires into 401(k) style retirement savings accounts, increase member contributions to their retirement fund, increase retirement age for full benefits, and increase member contributions to 50% of health care premiums. Anything short of these reforms will do nothing to permanently solve the problem. If it takes a Constitutional Amendment, then what are we waiting for?”