Governor Quinn will deliver his annual budget message on the 22nd in the Capitol. A few weeks ago he highlighted some of his ideas to help turn the State around during his “State of the State” address. It goes without saying that legislators and governmental agencies alike are expecting a very austere and challenging road ahead.
One of the major fiscal matters to be addressed is a potential reform of the state pension systems. Earlier the Governor indicated that he would like to see a shifting of the “normal costs” of the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) onto the responsibility of the local school district. This burden to the state, approximated at $800 million, also has a shift supported by the Speaker of the Illinois House and the President of the Illinois Senate.
It is unknown at this time whether or not this new funding requirement would be paid directly from a District’s educational fund, or if a new tax levy would be created to apply to local taxpayers.
It is estimated that this burden would be 8.9% of the district’s annual TRS payroll. For the Geneseo Schools, this amount to be sent to the Retirement System would total just under $880,000 annually. For reference, this would require approximately a $0.28 increase per $100 Equalized Assessed Valuation or an additional $237 per year in taxes for the owner of a $250,000 home. This is also the annual equivalent of the salaries of approximately 18 certified teachers, or 75% of all administrative costs, or the entire athletic budget, including transportation for athletics.