Lauzen sounds the alarm for tax increases or spending cuts
In a year that saw Illinois not only rank 48th out of 50 states for unfunded pension liability debt but also at the top of the list of states with the heaviest tax burden, at least one local government official is taking notice.
Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen said a new study from the American Legislative Exchange Council ranks Illinois near the bottom in terms of pension debt, and he dubbed the $6 trillion problem the 50 states face in unfunded pension liabilities a “fiscal calamity,” in a posting on Kane County Connects, the digital outreach network for the county.
The pension liability study, “Unaffordable and Unaccountable 2017,” paints a grim picture of the state’s economy, especially when combined with research the Illinois Policy Institute referenced in March designating Illinois as No. 1 in terms of its tax burden.
In issuing the press release, Lauzen sounded an alarm for lawmakers to consider spending cuts or bracing citizens to the prospects of additional tax increases.
“Absent serious reforms, unfunded liabilities will continue to grow and threaten the financial security of state retirees and taxpayers,” Lauzen said in the release. “Taxpayers, workers and retirees will all share in the burden unless policymakers make significant changes.”
“These real liabilities threaten local governments, like Kane County, in their ability to issue bonds at favorable rates, to maintain credibility with constituents, and to not get costs passed onto them by state governments like what happened in Illinois in 2017,” he said, referencing the General Assembly’s move to raise individual income tax to 32 percent.