McHenry County Blog

Bullet Train for the 40,239 Students at University of Illinois in Champaign

June 04, 2011 By: Cal Skinner

Multiply the 40,239 student figure for spring 2011 enrollment by 50, just assuming that high speed rail would have a life of fifty years.

They divide that by six, just assuming that the average student takes six years to get through college.

The result is 368,658 students. Let’s round down, assuming that the average student doesn’t take six years to get through college.

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that Governor Pat Quinn is allocating \$1.25 million in planning money.

The article says construction of a system that would allow 220 MPH bullet trains would cost tens of billions of dollars.

OK, let’s assume that its only three tens of billions of dollars.

What is \$30 billion divided by 300,000.

It’s only \$300 per student?

That’s assuming equipment is included in the \$30 billion and no annual operating subsidy is required.

And assuming all the students will use the train to get to and from home.

Neither assumption is likely.

In the 1990′s, when I calculated how much it would cost in operating subsidies to keep Amtrak running to Macomb, it came out to over \$2,000 per student.

I figure it would be as cheap to buy each student a car.

I’m betting a similar conclusion can be reached after the U of I study is completed.

39% of Illinois Teachers Pay Nothing for Pensions

Larry Snow

While Democrats say Teachers ‘Have Kept Their Part of the Deal?’

is the title of an April 5, 2011, article by former Huntley School District 158 Board member Larry Snow.  (The quote was in the Chicago Tribune Marcy 31, 2011.  It is from Executive Director Dick Ingram of Teachers’ Retirement System.)

The article was published in “The Champion” with this teaser:

“82,981 of 132,502 Illinois Teachers Pay Nothing or Little into Their Pensions

That’s 63% of all teachers in Illinois.

The State Journal-Register is reporting that State Rep. Kevin McCarthy (D-Orland Park) is promoting a bill where state and local governments would all pay six percent of payroll toward employee pensions.

In a revealing sentence in reporter Chris Wetterich’s article, he writes,

What’s unclear is how much more employees themselves would have to pay.

Because no one has done the research except, I believe, the Illinois Education Association and Snow, how much extra teachers would have to pay if their so-called contribution rate was raised from 9.4% to 13.77% is a really good question.

While not covering every school district in Illinois, Snow did research the teachers’ contracts for all of the large school districts (by law all are supposed to be on the internet) in order to find out how much teachers pay in order to get a “full 75 percent pension after working only 27 years.” He points out, “Most adults work for 27 years before they turn age 50.”

As way of background, Snow notes that teachers are not in the Social Security System and, therefore, are not forced to pay Social Security taxes.

“Ordinary workers get hit with a 6.2 percent deduction for Social Security,” Snow writes. “It’s a deduction they have to pay federal and state income taxes on.

“Democrats gave teachers a huge loophole of not paying income taxes on any of their pension deductions” he continues. “This enormous no-tax handout to teachers amounts to billions of dollars each year.”

Snow’s research leads him to this conclusion:

Over 51,000 of the total 132,502 teachers in Illinois contribute nothing from their K-12 paychecks into their pensions. Illinois law says it is to be 9.4 percent.

“About an additional 32,000 teachers pay little into their pensions. It is 1.81 percent to be precise for these 31,956 teachers.

How many teachers pay not a dime toward their retirement?

51,025 teachers in 186 school districts pay nothing for retirement benefits.

They “don’t pay a penny into the 9.4 percent called out by Illinois law.

“There are a total of 868 districts in Illinois.

“The pay-zero teachers listed are 39 percent of all teachers in Illinois,” Snow reveals.

No agency in state government seems to keep track of this information.

Not the Downstate Teachers Retirement Fund, which boldly and incorrectly claims,

“Active TRS members are required to contribute 9.4 percent of their creditable earnings each year…”

The State Board of Education doesn’t keep track either.

My guess is that only the Illinois Education Association has a matrix showing what school districts have given what benefits in contract negotiations.

“…on page 14 of the Lockport Township HS 205 teachers contract it reads:

1. The Board will pay the current level of retirement contribution to the Teachers Retirement System of Illinois.”
2. It is expressly understood that figures appearing on this salary schedule include a sum equal to the current level of TRS contribution of the base salary of each Teacher which is, in fact, payable to the Teachers’ Retirement System on the Teacher’s behalf.”

“The ISBE report shows this board paying nothing. A Democrat bureaucracy doesn’t check the teachers contracts to see if what is reported, matches what’s in writing.”

And, if legislation is passed requiring 4.37 percentage points more, how long do you think it will take Lockport taxpayers to pick up the difference?

Given that local teachers’ unions pretty much control school boards wherever they are elected (read everywhere but Chicago), my guess is will be on the top of the collective bargaining list.

Do you wonder if Rep. McCarthy knows that?

Is his proposal just a setting up local taxpayers for an even bigger fall?

Five years from now will 39% of teachers still be paying nothing for their pensions?

Even better for teachers is that this pension payment ups their pension payments.

Take a look at the chart below.  Chances are your school district is on it.

Chart of Pension Contributions by 82,981 District Teachers of 132,502 Total Illinois K-12 Teachers

 Name of District No. of Teachers Percent of Pension Contributed by Teachers Thornton Twp 205 428 Zero Proviso 209 281 Zero Waukegan 60 1,098 Zero Morton 201 455 Zero Kankakee 111 348 Zero Joliet 204 340 Zero Round Lake 116 387 Zero Rockford 1,843 Zero Decatur 61 454 Zero Crete Monee 340 Zero Danville 118 382 Zero Valley View 365 1,068 Zero Aurora West 129 706 Zero East Peoria 309 69 Zero Galesburg 281 Zero Bremen 228 313 Zero Freeport 317 Zero Leyden 212 219 Zero Elgin U-46 2,332 Zero Rock Island 388 Zero Mattoon 225 Zero Collinsville 394 Zero Massac 1 143 Zero Sterling 219 Zero Belvidere 531 Zero Quincy 436 Zero Dixon 179 Zero West Chicago 248 Zero Cook County 130 289 Zero Cicero 99 738 Zero Joliet 86 617 Zero Harvey 152 163 Zero Crystal Lake 155 412 Zero Crystal Lake 47 564 Zero Wheeling 21 489 Zero Champaign 4 717 Zero United CUSD 304 68 Zero Riverdale 100 76 Zero Reed Custer 255 114 Zero Wilmington 209U 84 Zero United Township 30 90 Zero Summit Hill 161 213 Zero Plainfield 1,695 Zero Schiller Park 81 98 Zero Dolton 149 176 Zero Township 211 Palatine 799 Zero Ball Chatham 5 248 Zero Taylorville 3 152 Zero Williamsville 15 81 Zero Harrisburg 3 130 Zero Belleville 201 281 Zero Dupo 196 76 Zero O’Fallon 203 145 Zero O’Fallon 90 207 Zero Rochester 3A 142 Zero Pekin 108 248 Zero Morton 709 175 Zero New Lenox 122 287 Zero Frankfort 157 158 Zero Marion 2 219 Zero Carterville 5 110 Zero Kinnikinnick 131 122 Zero Tolono 7 116 Zero Mahomet-Seymour 3 161 Zero Champaign 4 717 Zero Urbana 346 Zero Charleston 1 180 Zero Park Ridge 64 319 Zero Evanston 202 222 Zero Maine HSD 207 508 Zero Arlington Heights 214 753 Zero Niles 219 350 Zero Berkeley 87 165 Zero Berwyn South 263 Zero Lyons 204 239 Zero Lemont 113 144 Zero Palatine 15 713 Zero Schaumburg 54 1,003 Zero Oak Lawn 123 203 Zero Oak Lawn 229 114 Zero CHSD 230 Orland Park 519 Zero Argo 217 111 Zero Homewood 233 174 Zero Genoa 424 137 Zero Sycamore 427 231 Zero Dekalb 428 362 Zero Lombard 44 216 Zero Downers Grove 58 277 Zero Hinsdale 86 296 Zero Elmhurst 205 538 Zero Naperville 203 1,063 Zero Effingham 40 176 Zero Canton Union 66 175 Zero Morris 54 61 Zero Morris 101 50 Zero Coal City 1 138 Zero Jersey 100 164 Zero Central CUSD 301 224 Zero Kaneland 302 275 Zero St. Charles 303 880 Zero Cahokia 298 0.4 Chicago Public Schools 23,219 2 Peoria 150 988 0.4 Springfield 1,105 0.4 Moline 40 461 0.4 Harvard 149 0.87 Dolton 148 236 1.4 Belleville 118 228 0.4 Pekin 303 125 0.4 Hononegah 207 118 0.4 Arlington Heights 59 444 3 Leyden 212 219 0.4 Summit 104 103 0.4 Palos 118 130 0.4 CHSD 219 Orland Park 519 0.4 Bensenville 2 145 1.4 DuPage 88 266 0.4 CHSD 94 122 0.9 CUSD 300 1,189 4.4 Hawthorn 73 253 1.4 Lake Forest 115 132 0.4 Wauconda 118 273 0.4 Johnsburg 12 158 0.4 Cary 26 192 4.9 Woodstock 200 385 1.4 Keeneyville 20 107 0.4 Winnebago 323 117 0.4 LaSalle-Peru Twp. 120 88 0.7 Prairie-Hills 144 187 0.4 Geneva 304 367 Zero Herscher 2 126 Zero Manteno 5 160 Zero Bourbonnais 53 160 Zero Bradley 61 103 Zero Bradley Bourbonnais 307 114 Zero Momence 1 88 Zero Yorkville 115 329 Zero Plano 88 154 Zero Oswego 308 827 Zero Streator 44 132 Zero Ottawa 141 140 Zero Ottawa 140 102 Zero Glenview 34 343 Zero Zion 6 177 Zero Grayslake 46 266 Zero Elmwood Park 401 181 Zero Libertyville 70 159 Zero North Shore 112 374 Zero HSD 113 Highland Park 249 Zero Grant 124 91 Zero Zion-Benton 126 156 Zero Evanston 65 547 Zero Grayslake 127 187 Zero Meridian 15 64 Zero Mt. Zion 3 133 Zero Edwardsville 7 480 Zero Alton 11 467 Zero Macomb 185 130 Zero McHenry 15 282 Zero McHenry 156 158 Zero Nippersink 2 92 Zero Columbia 4 111 Zero Waterloo 5 166 Zero Hillsboro 3 114 Zero Meridian 223 113 Zero Illinois Valley Central 321 139 Zero Carbondale 165 76 Zero Carbondale 95 105 Zero Riverton 14 85 Zero Auburn 10 90 Zero Pawnee 11 47 Zero Panhandle 2 35 Zero Sullivan 300 75 Zero Centralia 135 93 Zero Litchfield 12 83 Zero Harlem 122 505 Zero Granite City 9 617 Zero Princeton 115 86 Zero Princeton 500 43 Zero Bond County 2 120 Zero Duquoin CUSD 300 101 Zero Rocton 140 102 Zero Rochelle Twp. HSD 212 71 Zero Rochelle CCSD 231 131 Zero Byron 226 127 Zero Oregon 220 104 Zero Farmington Central 265 85 Zero Porta 202 75 Zero River Bend 2 71 Zero Red Bud 132 73 Zero Sparta 140 105 Zero Southwestern 9 107 Zero Staunton 6 87 Zero Gillespie 7 81 Zero Hamilton County 10 83 Zero Midwest Central 191 85 Zero Tuscola 301 86 Zero West Carroll 314 99 Zero Oakwood 76 64 Zero Hoopeston 11 94 Zero Westville 2 80 Zero Beardstown 15 98 Zero El Paso-Gridley 11 99 Zero Murphysboro 186 137 Zero Monticello 25 111 Zero Paris-Union 95 74 Zero Mt. Vernon Twp. 210 80 Zero Mt. Vernon 80 109 Zero Jasper County 1 101 Zero Steger 194 128 Zero Calumet City 155 77 Zero North Boone 200 116 Zero CCSD 93 Carol Stream 294 Zero East Maine SD 63 254 Zero Lockport Township HS 205 205 Zero Above Teachers Total 82,981

Developer Impact Fees in Champaign or More Proof that Growth Doesn’t Pay

June 22, 2009 By: Cal Skinner

Have you notices that municipalities do so, so well when growth is rampant?

But when it slows down, taxes and fees get hiked.

If you need a recent example, think of Crystal Lake’s hiking water and sewer rates for the second time

IlliniPundit posted a story about developer impact fees. It certainly doesn’t say growth pays its own way.

The City of Champaign released their draft Cost of Land Uses Fiscal Impact Analysis, and held a public meeting on it…:

The study found that among six types of residential development, only high-priced single-family detached homes in the \$400,000 to \$600,000 range, such as Trails at Brittany and Chestnut Grove subdivisions, and downtown apartments, like at One Main, generated income surpluses for the city, primarily due to their higher taxable values.

High-priced single-family homes generated a surplus of \$813 per house for the city and downtown apartments generated a surplus of \$325 per unit.

Other types of housing were net money losers, including medium-priced single family homes, like in Sawgrass and Boulder Ridge subdivisions (a loss of \$888 per unit); low-priced single family homes, like in Ashland Park (an average \$641 per unit loss); apartments on the city fringe (an average loss of \$764 per unit) and attached housing units, such as townhomes, duplexes and triplexes (an average loss of \$334 per unit), the study said.

And this:

Among nonresidential developments, big box retail generates a \$6,245 surplus for the city per 1,000 square feet of space, and neighborhood retail generates \$4,639 per 1,000 square feet. Sales taxes generated by retail sales accounts for the surpluses.
But the city loses an average of \$314 per 1,000 square feet of office space, loses \$63 per 1,000 square feet of industrial use and loses \$51 per 1,000 square feet for health care clinics.

So, growth in Barrington Hills, Lakewood and Bull Valley pays its own way, but affordable homes don’t.

The rest of us have to subsidize the developers, who “help” us subsidize them by contributing campaign cash to school tax hike committees.