My one-man effort to lower taxes by attending local school board meetings,
by Mark Weyermuller, Wilmette, IL
You may have seen the Illinois Pension System is going out of control and going bankrupt.  It needs “reform”. NOW.  While I don’t like the term reform (means change), I like the idea of elimination of public sector pensions rolling everybody into defined benefits with 401Ks and IRA’s along with balanced budgets.  The current path is unsustainable and unfair to everybody especially the tax payers (income tax and property tax).
Clarification, I do support teachers (as shown in my home property tax bill) but I also support the tax payer and the students. The housing sector cannot afford more taxes or even the current taxes especially since home values are down around 25%.  Levy’s and budgets should have made this adjustment with lowing everybody’s tax bills.
I attended the City Club of Chicago lunch this week with Governor Pat Quinn who kind of announced that we wanted to fix pension system by “cost shifting” all the obligations to local school districts or in other words to local property taxes.  He gave a nice speech but used the words “reform” and “investment” about 20 times.  The word investment should not be used for government spending or redistribution of wealth.  The word “investment” is now code word for tax and spend.
While I think Governor Quinn is a nice guy, I disagree with most of his positions and management of the state.  He did take a photo with me, as did did another Governor,  Scott Walker a while back.  In addition, I asked Quinn a question in the Q & A, sounding like this: Governor, with your cost shifting idea, will that decrease teacher compensation or raise property taxes?  He responded but I don’t believe he answered my question, will have to look at transcript.
These meetings (City Club, School Board, Village Board, Park Board, etc)  are covered in the press and are on local cable tv so they can have some impact, so I hope.
I will continue my effort.