Taxpayers United of America president says gas tax fueled by pension crisis
The president of Taxpayers United of America spoke out on Tuesday at a press conference about his opposition to a possible gas tax that would bring Illinois the highest gas tax in the country.
Jim Tobin said he believes the pension crisis is why the gas tax was proposed.
Tobin held up a list of what he called "pension millionaires" when he took the stand to talk about the pension crisis.
"The top guy on this list gets $598,000 a year in pension," Tobin said. "He works full time in an office around the corner. If he lives to be 85, he will receive $21,518,000 in pension. Just one guy."
Tobin said there are more than 20,000 "pension millionaires" who get more than $100,000 a year in pensions.
"That doesn't even include the hundreds of local pension funds," Tobin said. "This is what is driving Illinois into bankruptcy."
Tobin said the pension problem is why the state government is constantly trying to find ways to raise Illinois's taxes—to fund the pensions.
"I'm really happy to be involved in this protest against the gas tax hike," Tobin said. "I was involved in the last gas tax hike protest back in 1989. Unfortunately, that was a tax massacre they passed back then—there were a number of tax increases with that."
Tobin said the pensions are causing the problem.
"That's why Illinois is bankrupt," Tobin said. "There is no way they can pay off the pensions. We've lost 31,000 taxpayers just last year. They're moving to other states to get away from the taxing problem and the corruption."
Tobin called Illinois the most corrupt state in the country.
"It's legalized theft—that's what these pensions are," Tobin said.
Reps. Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee) and Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) also spoke out in opposition of the gas tax hike. Each of them, along with Tobin, donned yelled safety vests for the press conference. They called the press conference a "yellow vest protest."