February 19th, 2020
$500 Million Property Tax Increase Unnecessary to Pay Lavish, Gold-Plated, Government Pensions of Chicago Retirees
CHICAGO—Chicago’s retired government employees receive lavish, gold-plated pensions, and, according to Jim Tobin, President of the Illinois Taxpayer Education Foundation (ITEF), the real reason Governor Quinn signed the $500,000,000 Chicago property tax increase is to pump more taxpayer dollars into the extravagant pensions of these retired Chicago government employees.
“Those receiving the largest annual pensions are retired Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) employees, whose average pension is $57,600!” said Tobin. Of the 1,601 pensioners in the MWRD fund, the largest annual pension went to Osoth Jamjun, whose annual pension was $181,392 — $15,116 a month. Joseph P Sobanski, not only received an annual pension of $180,855, but his last salary while working for the MWRD was an extravagant $229,320.”
“The property tax increase will also pour more tax dollars into Chicago teachers’ pension fund, whose average pension for the top ten thousand pensioners is $62,200. Of the 24,990 pensioners in the teacher pension fund, the largest Chicago public teacher pension goes to Manford Byrd, who received an annual pension of $159,653– $13,303 a month. JoAnn Harper had an ending salary of $219,659, and is now raking in a pension of $148,987—that’s $12,419 a month.”
“Retired Chicago Municipal employees are also doing well, paid for by property taxes. Of 22,790 pensioners in the Municipal fund, Dennis Gannon received the most with an annual pension of $158,258. Gannon was already receiving a salary of $201,072 a year at the time he retired, all paid for by local taxes, including property taxes.”
“With the median fulltime wage for Chicago area households at $36,900 and the unemployment rate now at 9%, Chicago property tax increases to pay these extravagant pensions are inexcusable, and pension plan reforms are needed. The Chicago City Council and Mayor must end pensions for all new government hires will eventually eliminate unfunded government pensions; putting new government hires into social security and 401(k)s would achieve this. Furthermore, requiring public employees to pay for one-half of their health care premiums would save even more.”