An Illinois lawmaker warns that property taxes could “fly to Mars” if teacher pension costs are not addressed.
According to Center Square, Rep. Steven Rake said that if the unfunded obligations in the pension system fall on school districts, Illinois residents will see a tax increase.
The Illinois House of Representatives’ Human Resources and Pensions Committee met with the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System on Thursday and learned that currently unsecured pension obligations amount to $80.6 billion, which is 0.85% more than in 2021.
The committee asked TRS representative Andrew Bodeves which tax authority is responsible for covering unsecured pension obligations, to which he replied: “We have a kind of strange split definition of an employer, where sometimes it’s the state of Illinois and sometimes the school district when we talk about job security.”
“We have 144,000 teachers who will eventually be affected by this, and the sooner we get an answer to this question, the better it will be for us,” Rake said.
The Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System ranks 42nd in the United States. Currently, Illinois residents pay the second highest property tax in the country.