McHENRY - Unpaid public worker pension obligations are a hot topic these days, especially since Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas chose to list taxing district debt and financial data on Cook County property owners' 2017 First Installment Property Tax Bills.
Those bills are hitting mailboxes in Illinois' most populous county and reminding people that billions - with a B - are owed to the county's Water Reclamation District, the County of Cook and a myriad of other taxing districts. Those "pensions and healthcare amounts promised by your taxing districts" are listed, along with the mount of pension and healthcare shortages.
Those numbers were shocking to see. It means the problem can no longer be kicked down the road.
State Rep. Steve Reick (R-McHenry) has been pointing to the fiscal cliff Illinois was headed onto for years, he says in an op-ed posted on his website over the weekend.
While I’ve been pointing out for years that the State’s 5 pension systems are headed for insolvency (the General Assembly’s pension plan is less than 14% funded), this particular crisis revolves around municipal pensions, particularly police and fire pensions. In August, a state appellate court ruled that as a matter of law, the City of Harvey’s firefighters’ pension fund had actually reached the point of constitutional impairment. This is the first time a court has made this determination on any governmental pension fund, and it opens up a whole new can of worms.
More about the situation and what it will take to correct HERE.
Suffice to say, the state is in real trouble.