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Chicago – Taxpayer dollars from a recent Mattoon property tax increase was consumed by lavish, gold-plated government employee pensions. A report from the Journal Gazette & Times-Courier identified that the increased property tax went almost exclusively to retired government employee pensions.

“The retired Illinois government employee pension system is a scam,” said Jim Tobin, president of Taxpayers United of America (TUA). “Mattoon government employees get to enjoy life with pensions that increase 3% compounded every year, while Mattoon taxpayers are driven from their homes.”

“In 2004, Mattoon taxpayers handed over $1.4 million to government employee pensions, $1.2 million of which was property taxes. In 2020, taxpayers were forced to pay $4.1 million to the government pension system, the vast bulk coming from property taxes.”

“Government bureaucrats are going to discover that they cannot loot the middle class to pay for outrageous government-employee pensions forever. Taxpayers are not bureaucrats’ serfs, and are free to go to lower-tax municipalities or even to other states. Taxpayers have already been taking this option, and higher property taxes are only going to accelerate the process.”

“The one way to solve the Illinois pension crisis is to put all new government employees into 401(k) plans immediately and pass a Fair Pension Amendment. An amendment to the Illinois state constitution can allow for renegotiation of Illinois government employee pensions that are fairer to taxpayers.”