In a case of a false-positive in local politicking, the St. Clair County council have voted to take a pay cut on a pension coming from the state’s Municipal Retirement Fund while also voting to raise property taxes. The former vote helps prevent elected members from profiting from two major sources at the same time, both pensions and local payroll.
While many are happy that it will cut from any extra benefits the board members would have, the latter vote, however, was made to fill the gap made with the reduction of funds from the first vote. This means that the 2018 tax will go up by 44 percent to coup up an extra $65-70 million.
The decision comes after the 2016 tax cost was $38 million, which itself was a minor raise from the 2015 amount of $27 million. This is in comparison to the pension plan where county officials would only receive a fraction of their actual salary, leaving a separation between what the county received a year earlier.
Supporters say it acts as insurance if the state fails completely in their promise to fund the Municipal Retirement Fund in full, especially if the state lawmakers, or via voters, pass any restriction to what the property tax can be. Illinois barely passed their first budget in two years by overriding the governor’s veto, which put the state’s pension in flux, affecting all county budgets Criticisms include the tax being unnecessary and offsets the entire benefit of keeping officials away from a double profit.
Plus, the new budget includes a 32 percent raise in the income tax for a budget of $36 billion. This tricky maneuver is connected to what will happen in the next year, which is all connected to their sub national election and a very vulnerable Republican governor.