* The Sun-Times’ Abdon Pallasch takes a look at the disparities caused by the state picking up the employer contribution tab for suburban and Downstate schools, while not doing so for Chicago…
Most Chicago property taxpayers pay $164 a year more than their suburban and downstate counterparts under the state’s uneven teacher pension funding system, according to numbers the Chicago Public Schools provided to the Sun-Times. […]
(E)very year through state income taxes, sales taxes and other fees paid to the state, the average Illinois resident — including Chicago residents — pays $110 a year to fund the pensions of suburban and downstate teachers, according to estimates Gov. Quinn’s budget office provided to the Sun-Times. […]
In Chicago, the Chicago Public Schools funds its teacher pensions without help from the state based on money it collects from taxes on Chicago property owners.
That means the average property owner in Chicago pays $164 a year, according to estimates by the Chicago Public Schools.
That means Chicago residents pay twice — once to the state for suburban and downstate teachers and once to the city for Chicago teachers.
Suburban and downstate residents pay only once.
The CPS’ pension fund does get some state money, but that wasn’t calculated in the report.
* School officials dispute governor’s take on ‘reserve’ funds: Carol Baker, Urbana’s director of business, said the data doesn’t take into account that the school district is holding onto money from Carle Physician Group’s property taxes, which are being disputed in court. “We can’t spend it,” Baker said, because the school district may have to pay it back on short notice. Plus, Baker said, money intended for transportation or building improvements can’t be spent to pay for pensions. “It’s a huge generalization to say that money is available,” Baker said.