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By: Mark Glennon*


It has received little attention, but a bill (HB3695) recently proposed in Springfield would levy a special property tax in Chicago payable directly into the pension for Chicago teachers. It would be matched by a corresponding reduction in funding for the Chicago school system. By levying a tax at the rate of 0.26% on all property covered by the school system, the bill would raise an estimated $160 to $180 million for the pension, which would be taken away from the schools.


A post from the Retired Teachers Association of Chicago in support of the bill is linked here.


The bill has bipartisan sponsorship including House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) and Rep. David Harris (R-Arlington Heights).


Chicago schools or Chicago teachers’ pension? Take your pick. They’re both broke.


*Mark Glennon is founder of WirePoints. Opinions expressed are his own.





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If a pension line item is added to Chicago property tax bills, the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF) would in that way become more like the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF). IMRF is for municipal pensions outside the city of Chicago. How did the CTPF become underfunded? The focus of politicians, unions, union lobbyists, and public sector workers has been on hiking benefits and salaries, not on funding pensions. For example, 2015 pension benefits are better than 1970 pension benefits. What happened is a pension sentence was added to the State Constitution on December 15, 1970 which stated that pension and retirement system benefits are contractual and… Read more »