On October 17, 2017, Michael Vijuk addressed the McHenry County Board during the regular meeting to speak about the costs of pensions for board members. Mr. Vijuk spoke during public comments to address what would be a fiscally responsible policy in ending the program for board members.
Mr. Vijuk’s full comments follow:
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My name is Michael Vijuk and I am a Professor Emeritus of Management. For 24 years I have lived at 902 W. Main Street, Cary Illinois.
I speak in support of the enlightened board members who support a change in Pension benefits afforded the elected officials of McHenry County.
In 2016 the Board members voted to eliminate pensions for Board members altogether. That, in my opinion, is a fiscally sound decision. If the board decides to keep a pension for elected officials I would readjust the existing pension to a 457b plan.
A 457b plan is a supplemental retirement plan for employees who meet eligibility criteria.
Key Features such as:
• Ability to reduce the taxable income.
• The investment earnings grow tax-deferred.
• Choice from a menu of investment funds.
Jack Franks, has estimated that by ending the pension to elected officials the county could save in tax dollars over $100,000 per year.
While the total amount may appear small relative to the overall budget, $100,000 can have a significant impact on taxpayers.
The discussion is that if we cut the pensions of elected officials we are cutting their overall compensation. What we would be doing would not impact their annual salary at all. Rather what we would be doing is removing an incentive which leads to career politicians.
The second issue I want to address is the planned reduction in property taxes. This reduction could be used to benefit the children of families attending our schools.
On August 31, 2017, NBC News reported the average elementary school student supplies cost $650, a middle school student $1,000, high-schooler nearly $1,500. That is an average of approximately $1,000, per student nearly the same as the average U.S. monthly mortgage payment.
According to a recent survey by AdoptAClassroom.org the average teacher spends approximately $600 of their own money on supplies for their classroom. Most states now provide less support per student for elementary and secondary schools than they did before the recession.
This money will make the difference in the lives of children in our county.
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