Illinois Debt Affects Residents
Debt nearing $150 Billion
Compared To Neighbors...
Taxpayer's Burden is the amount of money that each citizen living in a state would have to pay after the initial assessments have been tapped into to become debt free. Illinois is has the 3rd highest Taypayer's Burden, and it shows compared to neighboring states. Illinois Taypayer's Burden is $45,000. Wisconin and Missouri has $4100 and $3400 as their taxpayer's burden respectively. Iowa has a SURPLUS of $900.
Assets to pay debt?
Illinois has $29.5 Billion to be $213.4 Billion. The financial report was released 255 days after it's fiscal year end. Noticeably longer than finishing by 90 days as promised. Many of Illinois residents believe that the debt is at a point where it is no longer fixable.
One of the most alarming problems in Illinois is those relating to the pension. When looking at what not to do with a pension, Illinois often serves as the poster child. As of now, the government says that there is $100 billion in unfunded benefits in the pension right now. However, experts claim that the number is drastically reduced and could even be two or three times more the said $100 billion. Jeffrey Brown claims that public pensions are too optimistic because they do not consider the risk factor. If changes do no occur, workers may not receive their money and full retirement benefits. However, if the number of unfunded liability increases, the more taxpayers and state workers will be affected by benefit reductions, higher taxes, and budget cuts.
Tax Reform Plan
The current tax reform plan that is being considered already affects state workers. The plan wants to eliminate parts of state workers' collective bargaining process. So workers will not be able to bargain on their wages and their benefits. Illinois government will offer workers incentives for taking lower tiered benefits. Attempting to give workers lower benefits by offering something seems pathetic. The Illinois Constitution does not allow for cutting pension benefits that are promised. Rauner is willing to take proper legal action to make this happen. In terms of pension reform, numerous creative ideas will be needed to fix the problem. Many of solutions simply include cutting benefits, but most state constitutions do not allow that. In Oregon, the government was allowed to cut benefits, however, they had to pay back the lost benefits after a few years. Wisconsin did a good job at fixing their pension issue and Illinois should look to them for help.