JT CEO Rick Jasculca Helps Present the Illinois Pension Crisis in New Way

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Each Illinois taxpayer is on the hook for $45,500 in unfunded liabilities—more than most residents earn after taxes in a entire year.

That’s the bottom line of yet another report that whacks Illinois’ pension-impacted finances, but presents the numbers in a way the average taxpayer may more easily grasp.

Today’s report from a division of Truth in Accounting—a Chicago-based, bipartisan think tank whose board includes DePaul University researcher Bill Obershain, JT CEO Rick Jasculca, conservative activist Dan Proft and financial analyst Terry Savage—categorizes the Land of Lincoln as a “sinkhole state,” and finds it in the third-worst shape of any of the 50 states.

The group came up with its figures by dividing total net state debt (liabilities minus available assets) by 4.1 million, the combined number of individual and company tax returns filed in 2015. Illinois per-taxpayer debt of $45,500 is exceeded only by New Jersey’s $59,400 and Connecticut’s $49,000—and well above that in some surrounding Midwest states such as Ohio at $5,000, Wisconsin at $4.600 and Indiana at $2,400.

“Even though these taxpayer burdens may seem intangible, they have serious consequences,” said Sheila Weinberg, founder and CEO of Truth in Accounting. “If these amounts don’t decrease, taxpayers will suffer, whether it’s through higher interest rates, tax increases or fewer government programs.”

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