Tax Fighter Jim Tobin, R.I.P.

Jim Tobin, the man who started an anti-tax organization who gave Governor Jim Thompson fits, has died at home in Brywn on December 15th.

Tobin was my Libertarian Party running mate when I ran for Govenror in 2002.

Four years earlier, he sought ballot access as that party’s gubernatorial candidate, but, workers from Trweasurer Judy Baar Topinka’s State Treasurer office were deplyed on office time to challenge petition signatures, an effort in which they succeeded.

Tobin made forays into McHenry County at least twice.

He spoke at a Wonder Lake anti-High School District 156 tax referendum event sponsored by Bob Anderson.

Upon hearing of Tobin’s death, Anderson wrote,

Jim Tobin

“I’m so sorry to hear that Jim has passed.

“Thank you so much for informing me.

“I met Jim at one of his events in Crystal Lake about 30 years ago.

“That changed my life, I became an activist. Jim had no equal looking out for taxpayers, he will be sorely missed. Happy that TUA will continue!”

In about 2001, Tobin’s group financed an insert in the Northwest Herald opposing passage of a $68.5 million McHenry County Conservation District bond referendum whose campaign was financed by money resulting from Lakehead Pipeline’s settlement with MCCD that ended up in a private foundation under the control of former Turstees, rather than in MCCD’s coffers.

Tobin’s group also mad a mailing in opposition to thre Conservatiuon District’s effort to pass legislation allowing it to borrow money without a referendum.

Toibin also held a press conference at McHenry County College to reveal high pensions of retired school employees.

He also spoke at a 2011 Wonder Lake Christ the King tax protest meeting set up by Anderson.

Jim Tobin talks in Christ the King Church in Wonder Lake against a 2011 McHenry High School tax hike referendum.

The subject was to oppose a McHenry High School District 156 bond issue, previously defeated by a 73% vote, and support three insurgent Board candidates.

Tobin’s obituary follows:

Taxpayer Advocate Fought on Behalf of All Taxpayers

Jim Tobin, who died at 76, was the founder and president of Taxpayers United of America (TUA), one of the oldest and largest taxpayer advocacy groups in the country.

Founded in 1976, TUA has fought wasteful government spending and tax increases year after year. 

Jim found his calling early in his career while working as a bank auditor for the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank.

As an economist, he had a true understanding of the damage the central bank and excessive taxation had on the economy.

Jim gave up his well-paid government job to spend his evenings and weekends working to initiate tax-fighting initiatives from his parents’ living room.

In 1976 he founded National Taxpayers Union of Illinois, which was later renamed Taxpayers United of America, and opened an office in the heart of Chicago, where he took his fight to a national audience.

After only a year, Jim led a nationally-recognized property tax strike, when Chicago tried to gouge taxpayers with unreasonable automatic property tax hikes.

He stopped that!

Jim also received national recognition in 1977 when he and his members were instrumental in forcing repeal of the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988, legislation that increased taxes on all senior citizens.

This was the first time a major federal entitlement had ever been repealed.

Jim’s efforts, with the help of dedicated supporters and staff, were successful in beating down 439 tax increases in Illinois, saving taxpayers more than $200 billion since 1976.

The Tobin piece that helped defeat Home Rule, a form of government that allowd unlkimited taxation, in Itasca in 2012..

Jim realized, before many, that government pensions were at the heart of the egregious tax policies of governments across the country.

With laser focus, and despite criticism from government bureaucrats and progressive media, Jim led the pension fight until people would listen.

He took the pension fight across the country as he and his team analyzed and released lifetime pension payouts in 19 states.

Tobin released the highest McHenry Countyu pensions in 2020.

Jim named the names of the government retirees whose pension benefits bleed taxpayers dry.

Jim was disliked by many politicians and he was just fine with that.

He knew that if he got the right people angry, he had done his job.

Jim treated every donated dollar with the care and conservatism that he believed the government should be doing with taxpayer money.

He was a man of honor and conviction and never separated himself from the cause.

Jim was the kindest and most giving person to friends and family.

He died peacefully at his home in Berwyn on December 15.

Jim was preceded in death by his mother Ann Noll Tobin, his father Lawrence J. Tobin, and his brother Paul E. Tobin.

He is survived by his daughter Christina Tobin, sister Elisabeth (Betty) Tobin-Ivie, sister-in-law Nancy Tobin, nieces Christine Braig, Jeanne Gordon, Kathy McNulty, and nephew Dan Tobin. 

A private memorial service will be held next spring in Shawano, Wisconsin where he found peace and solitude by the river that flowed past his home, Wolf Lake Lodge.

In addition, a small service at Mt. Carmel cemetery will follow.  In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Jim’s organization Taxpayers United of America.


Tax Fighter Jim Tobin, R.I.P. — 7 Comments

  1. Once home school takes over all these million dollar pensioners wont’ be needed anymo!!!

  2. Tobin was Good.

    Aaron Shepley, now dead, called him ‘an extremist’ at the MCC gig highlighted above.

    Tobin called him another McHenry County ‘tax villain.’

    People applauded Tobin and Shepley took off like a scalded cat.

  3. I remember when his Pension list first came out and good ole Doc Kelly was at the top of it..from little old schol District 26–now the richest man in Pottersville.

    Thank you and Rest In Peace Now, Mr Tobin.

    You helped educate, through information lot of folks who never would’ve guessed, Teaching and Administrative positions make people rich forever.

    Between these and County jobs, we dont stand a chance in the Private Sector.

    Only way to go if want to get rich-Teaching or Jail Guard jobs.

  4. Rest In Peace, Jim Tobin.

    He also came to Woodstock to speak at Tirio’s and Steve Wilson’s watchdog group.

    His talk was on TIFs when Tirios and Wilson’s organization fought and stopped the absurd Randall Road Robbery.

  5. Mr. Tobin also came to Woodstock to fight Woodstock’s Home Rule.

    Woodstock one this one at a high cost to taxpayers.

    Without a doubt, Tobin, the best taxpayer’s friend ever!!!

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