Illinois’ pension crisis has been a growing problem for decades, and its negative effects on state residents are well documented.1 Economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and related government shutdown orders threaten to bring that long-running crisis closer to its breaking point. The state’s five pension systems collectively held nearly $139 billion of debt at...View Report
Quincy property taxes do not generate enough to fund the municipal pension costs. Even with that heavy burden, there is so much state and local pension debt that the average Quincy household owns more than $35,600.
Rapidly rising pension costs compete with classroom spending, reducing resources for teachers and students while driving up property taxes.
Despite so much of the property tax share going to public pensions, there is still a huge unmet pension debt. The average Rock Island household owes nearly $40,000 to state and local pensions.
The average Danville household owns nearly $40,000 in state and local pension debt.
Public pensions are growing and taking a greater share of property taxes, hurting public services. Still, the average Rockford household owes over $35,000 in state and local pension debt.
The average Peoria household owns nearly $38,000 in state and local pension debt.
House Bill 417 falls far short of the structural reforms Illinois pension systems require. A constitutional amendment is needed after courts blocked a real reform effort in 2018.
Pension obligation bonds, like payday loans, are a sign of mismanaged finances. Illinois not only leads the nation for using that risky debt, it owes the bulk of it.
Pension debt is a record $144.2 billion while Illinois’ short-term debt is on track to reach $22 billion in three years, exceeding the record $16.7 billion hit during the budget impasse.
S&P Global Ratings said Illinois’ public pension systems are in trouble, and will get worse thanks to the Illinois Exodus and because state leaders refuse to fix the problems.