Tis the involuntary giving season, when so many of our municipalities spend the 12 days of Christmas turning to their residents to keep the promises of contracts past.
You will be haunted by three pension levies: The Ghost of Pension Cop, the Ghost of Pension Firefighter and the Ghost of Pension Other City Workers.
You’d better watch out: The burden will be great, and property taxpayers will be sore afraid.
East St. Louis will see pension obligations for past employees that threaten to eat all the money to pay current employees. Belleville will see a 12 percent hike in its property tax levy, mostly for pensions. Highland is seeking nearly $1.48 million for pensions and Social Security, about 40 percent of the property taxes it will collect.
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The Dow is on a record run, run, Rudolph, with records set on high almost daily and flirting with the O, holy benchmark of $25,000. From now on pension troubles should be out of sight, with record returns on investments.
But Mount Crumpit is still too steep. Taxpayers are getting lumps of coal from local and state governments whose hearts are two sizes too small.
Bah, humbug: Illinois residents face the biggest burden in the nation from public pensions. We have no gift to bring, but each Illinoisan owed 22.8 percent of their personal income to public pensions, pa-rum-pum-pum-pum, in fiscal year 2016, according to a new report from Fitch Ratings. The national average was 3.1 percent.
Fitch’s calculated the Illinois pension libaility at $151.5 billion, about $60 billion more than the second-most naughty state, New Jersey.
You better watch out. They’re gonna make you cry.
’Cause pension reform ain’t comin’ to town.