Rock Island Gov. Pensions Drive Higher Property Taxes

Rock Island

This story was featured by the Dispatch–Argus, KWQC TV, and WQAD TV. Another story on this release was run 9/19/2019 by WQAD TV.

Rock Island, IL – Taxpayer Education Foundation (TEF) today released its updated study on Rock Island County, Rock Island City, Moline, and East Moline government pensions including the top 200 pensions in the Teachers Retirement System (TRS), Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF), and the State University Retirement System (SURS). Taxpayers United of America (TUA) issued the following statement based on the TEF pension study:

“Taxpayers in Rock Island County have been hit with yet another property tax increase. This time additional revenue of 11.9% is needed to keep the IMRF pensions afloat,” said Jim Tobin, president of TUA.

“The IMRF pension fund, which gives lavish, gold-plated pension benefits to retired municipal employees, is funded by property taxes. $903 million in property taxes have been shoveled into this fund to keep it afloat.”

Rock Island County has an effective property tax rate of 2.56%, according to Attom Data Solutions. The national average is 1.17% and the Illinois average is 2.22%.

“Taxpayers in Rock Island County sure aren’t getting their money’s worth. Their effective property tax rate is more than double the national average and even higher than the Illinois state average. The reason it is so high is because goonish politicians spend lavishly on gold plated, retired government employee pensions. Rock Island County taxpayers are paying for government services provided years ago. Sadly, there isn’t enough money left to pay for the services taxpayers need today.”

“The entire local and statewide pension system in Illinois is unsustainable. The other five statewide pension funds are funded by the state income tax. Democrat Governor Jay Robert ‘J. B.’ Pritzker and his tax-raising cronies want to stick it to middle class taxpayers by increasing the income tax under the guise of a ‘more fair’ graduated income tax, so they can make it through the next election cycle. When the state goes under, they will be enjoying their retirements in Arizona or Florida.”

“Middle-class Rock Island taxpayers would be decimated by the Pritzker income-tax hike if it passes. There is nothing fair about his ‘fair tax’ that will, by design, siphon even more wealth out of the pockets of the middle-class. And his tax increases won’t stop there as we’ve seen with Pritzker’s gargantuan gasoline tax-hike.”

“When you look at what individual government retirees are actually collecting in taxpayer funded pensions, you can get a better idea of why this theft of taxpayer wealth is so egregious. Keep in mind that the average taxpayer will collect about $17,500 a year from Social Security and that most IMRF pensioners are also eligible for a Social Security pension.”

Calvin Lee retired from Moline USD40 and currently collects $222,655 a year in taxpayer-funded pension payments. He contributed $390,120 into the TRS to fund his own pension which will total about $7.3 million over a normal lifetime.

Marshall Douglas receives benefits from the IMRF. His current annual pension is $155,673 and will accumulate to $2.5 million over a normal lifetime. He deposited $159,794 into his own pension. Marshall is also eligible for a social security pension.

Black Hawk College retiree, Bettie Truitt, retired at the age of 52 and currently collects $133,568 in pension payments. Taxpayers largely fund her estimated lifetime payout of $7,161,282 as she contributed only $187,423.

“All Illinois government new hires should be placed in a 401(k) style retirement savings account, beginning immediately, and the retirement age should be increased to 65. These measures would at least slow the bleeding until comprehensive pension reform can be enacted.”

Click here to see the top 200 Rock Island, Moline and East Moline TRS pensions
Click here to see the top 200 Rock Island, Moline and East Moline municipal,  and Rock Island County IMRF pensions
Click here to see the top Black Hawk SURS pensions