67% State Income Tax Hike to Fund St. Clair, Monroe and Madison Counties Retired Government Employee Pension Millionaires
EDWARDSVILLE–A new report by Taxpayers United of America (TUA) reveals that many retired government employees of St. Clair, Monroe and Madison Counties receive lavish, gold-plated pensions that far exceed average annual wages of workers in the private sector.
“These outrageous government-employee pensions are bankrupting the state,” said Jim Tobin, TUA President. “Springfield House and Senate Democrats just temporarily raised the state personal income tax 67%, all $6.8 billion taxpayer dollars of which is being used to fund the state’s lavish pensions. Every House and Senate member who voted for the tax increase is a Democrat. Taxpayers should oppose reelection of all Springfield Democrats because they all conspired to raise the state income tax with a structured vote.”
“Those receiving the largest annual pensions are retired government-school educators,” said Tobin. “St. Clair County’s unemployment rate is 9.8% and the average wage is $41,000, but Russell L. Clover, formerly with O’Fallon THSD 203, gets an annual pension, as of 7/1/2010, of $155,324 ($12,944/mo.), and already has pulled in an estimated total pension payout of $449,401. Ronald B. Riegel, formerly of Belleville SD 118, already has collected an estimated total pension payout of $1,426,590.”
“Madison County’s unemployment rate is 8.6% and the average wage is $42,000, but James F. Burgett, formerly of Highland CUSD 5, gets an annual pension of $124,618 ($10,385/mo.), and already has pulled in an estimated total pension payout of $692,081. Jerome R. Podesva, formerly of East Alton SD 13, already has collected an estimated total pension payout of $1,517,424”
“Monroe County’s unemployment rate is 7.5% and the average wage is $33,000, but Wayne M. Collmeyer, formerly of Waterloo CUSD 5, gets an annual pension of $121,165 ($10,097/mo.), and already has pulled in an estimated total pension payout of $569,770. William McDannold, formerly of Columbia CUSD 4, already has collected an estimated total pension payout of $898,017.”
“The temporary state income tax increase can expire without cutting government services. Three crucial reforms can save the system and spare Illinois taxpayers. First, new government hires should be put into social security and required to fund their own retirements with 401(k) plans. Ending pensions for new government hires will eventually eliminate unfunded government pensions.”
“Second, in Illinois, if each current state pension fund employee were required to contribute an additional 10% to his or her pension, taxpayers would save over $150 billion over the next 35 years. And finally, requiring Illinois public employees to pay for one-half of their health care premiums would save even more – an estimated $230 billion over current projections.”