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Christmas Taxes

Happy holidays, Cook County homeowners! The second installment of your property tax bills will arrive around Thanksgiving. They won’t be due until after Christmas but before New Year’s.

Cook County residents can expect their property tax bills to arrive around Thanksgiving with an estimated return date of Dec. 31, 2022, leaving just enough time for Illinoisans to claim federal deductions, a county spokesperson said.

The second installment of property taxes will likely be mail out more than three months after the bill typically comes due Aug. 1. The delay follows a flood of new appeals and computer complications at the assessor’s office.

Cook County Board spokesman Nick Shields on Sept. 26 said the more than $16 billion in backlogged bills will be collected by “the end of 2022.”

“As each step in the process is completed, we will better understand the bill’s mail date and, subsequently, the due date,” Shields told the Chicago Sun-Times. “We remain confident that their commitment to a due date of 2022 will be realized.”

County leaders said appealing, reviewing and mailing these bills to homeowners could still take more than a month to complete as the county assessor finishes final appeals. Taxpayers will then have a minimum of 30 days to pay once their bill is received.

Issuing these property taxes in late November leaves Cook County homeowners with little more than a month to pay the taxes and claim the local deductions on their 2022 individual federal tax returns.

Second installments were paid by Aug. 1 in every year since 2011, until the onset of the pandemic. The first installment of property tax bills in 2023 is expected to be due March 1.

Illinois was home to the nation’s second-highest property taxes in 2021. Now rampant inflation is giving local taxing bodies the power to raise rates by 5%.

Property owners face another tax threat on Nov. 8: Amendment 1.

Read more here.

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52

State Representative Martin McLaughlin and Mary Morgan

The League of Women Voters of the Palatine Area will host the first in a series of upcoming nonpartisan candidate forums for Illinois House District 52 at 7 PM Monday, October 3rd.

The newly drawn 52nd District includes Algonquin, the Barrington area, Fox River Grove, Inverness, Island Lake, Volo, Wauconda, and western portions of Libertyville and Mundelein.

Incumbent Republican state Rep. Martin McLaughlin faces Democratic challenger Mary Morgan in the November 8th election.

To register in advance for Zoom link to view the forum, visit https://balibrary.librarycalendar.com/event/candidate-forum-illinois-house-52nd-district.

All candidate forums are run by trained moderators, who are members of the league and do not live or vote in the districts for which they are moderating the forum. Equal time is given to all candidates to answer each question. The candidates will have two minutes to present an opening statement, in turn, by number drawn. All LWPA Candidate Forums will be recorded and made available on its website for voters to view later.

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Hart Bridge

Construction crews continue working on a new Hart Road bridge over Flint Creek in Barrington. The road remains closed until early November. (Paul Valade | Staff Photographer)

Crews are making progress on the Hart Road bridge project in Barrington.

The road was shut down last June between Lake Cook Road and Northwest Highway. The Lake County Division of Transportation $3 million project consists of removing three aging metal culverts and replacing those with a bridge over Flint Creek.

An 8-foot-wide bicycle and pedestrian path will also be added to the structure.

There is currently no through traffic on Hart Road from Northwest Highway to Lake-Cook Road (Main Street), though local traffic will be allowed on either side of the creek.

The closure impacts nearby Barrington High School. Access to the school and the athletic complex can be made from Lake Cook Road.

According to Lake County’s Sept. 12 update, current work includes pouring concrete on the south approach slab, north side excavating and grading the approach footing and building the road base on the south side of the bridge. Wetland plants were also planted along the creek.

More here.

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CC Taxes

Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi and County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

Property tax bills should land in mailboxes across Cook County around the same time as holiday cards, with second installment payments expected to come due before the end of the year, county officials said.

County board President Toni Preckwinkle in July announced second-installment bills, which for nearly a decade had arrived in August, would fall months late because of delays with the assessment process and a computer system upgrade.

With little over three months left in 2022, several steps in the multiagency process of tabulating and mailing out bills are as-yet incomplete. Still, the relay race of calculating, mailing and collecting bills was on pace to be complete by “the end of 2022,” Preckwinkle spokesman Nick Shields said Monday.

For the full story, visit chicago.suntimes.com.

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Lake Jail

The Major Crime Task Force is investigating the death of a Barrington man who was found unresponsive in his cell at the Lake County Jail in Waukegan Friday evening.

A Lake County sheriff’s corrections officer was conducting rounds in Pod 1 East around 8:34 p.m. Friday.

He observed an inmate, a 51-year-old Barrington man, laying on his bed in what appeared to be an unresponsive state.

The corrections officer knocked on the door several times but the inmate did not respond, according to Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli.

The corrections officer entered the inmate’s cell and attempted to wake him but the inmate remained unresponsive.

More here.

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Election Illinois Voting

Passage of Amendment 1, on the November ballot, would put Illinoisans’ pocketbooks at risk of another hit during a time when it is already difficult to make ends meet.

You may wonder why anyone would be against the proposed change to the Illinois Constitution at the top of the Nov. 8 ballot that proponents call the “Workers’ Rights Amendment.”

Don’t ask me — ask Deb Cohorst.

Cohorst is a mother, grandmother, retiree and resident of Effingham, Illinois. For now. If the deceptively dubbed “Workers’ Rights Amendment,” or Amendment 1, passes, Cohorst might be forced to leave the state she has called home for almost 40 years.

“My husband and I really don’t want to leave, but we may not have a choice,” Cohorst said. “This amendment would be devastating to not only my family but any family.”

Why? Amendment 1 is a potential property tax hike in disguise that could hurt low-income families and seniors on fixed incomes. In a state that leads the nation in foreclosures, homeowners can’t afford higher costs.

Amendment 1 would allow government union bosses to collectively bargain over new, broad contract topics such as “economic welfare,” which could include anything from affordable housing to preventing advancements in technology. The more subjects available for government unions to bargain over and the longer negotiations take, the greater the potential cost to all Illinois workers — which would be reflected in higher property tax bills.

In Cook County, the median homeowner could pay at least an additional $2,935 in property taxes during the next four years if voters approve Amendment 1. In Cohorst’s home of Effingham County, property taxes on the typical home would rise by $743.

Property taxes already eat up approximately 7% of Cohorst’s fixed income. Increases make life in Illinois less feasible for her family.

“It scares me we may have to move,” she said. “I have friends in neighboring states, and they cannot believe what we’re paying in property taxes. I am paying more for the property tax on my half-acre lot than my three out-of-state friends’ property taxes combined.”

Read the full Chicago Sun*Times opinion here.

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Lake County Stormwater

“Lake County Stormwater Management Commission is excited to offer a free Homeowners Association Workshop. This event is for associations and property owners who are responsible for maintaining detention ponds, wetlands, and natural areas. Grants and funding opportunities will also be discussed. The event will be hosted in a hybrid format (in-person and via Zoom).

When: Tuesday, September 20 from 5:30 – 8:30 PM

Where: Central Permit Facility Large Conference Room Second Floor 500 W. Winchester Road Libertyville, IL 60048 OR via Zoom

Register: Interested folks can register using the Microsoft Form linked here. Each attendee should RSVP individually. In-person space is limited to 50 participants. Zoom information will be provided to registrants upon completion of the Microsoft Form.”

Editorial note: Trustee Ekstrom, Roads & Bridges Committee Chair, should offer to give “Daydream” a lift to the event since they likely have much to discuss.

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Missing

By John Kass

Do you feel safe in Chicago?

The great city by the lake was once famed for its toughness and unbreakable will. But now it curls up into the fetal position as uncontrolled violent crime and legitimate concerns over the Democrat Safe-T Act–which will do away with cash bail on Jan. 1–bleed the city dry.

Democratic political leaders are on the defensive before the mid-term elections. Some like Gov. J.B. Pritzker have been reduced to babbling. Others like Mayor Lori Lightfoot go into hiding. More than a dozen city council members have resigned. They look to the chaos from the mayor’s office and begin turning away.

The bleeding continued Thursday with news that seven children had been shot in the street gang wars in separate incidents, including a 3-year-old shot at home while sleeping. Oh, and anti-violence activists were listed among the wounded at yet another Chicago mass shooting.

CWB Chicago reported that police warned about yet a third armed robbery crew working the city from the West Loop to Edgewater.

But don’t fret, Lightfoot has made sure that no repeat criminals—including violent muggers, robbers, shooters or murderers–will have to risk being hurt in a police chase.

And there had been no arrests in that infamous Sunday afternoon street mugging in the leafy Lakeview neighborhood, where a woman walking alone was attacked, pulled to the ground by thugs and robbed. The poor woman’s piercing screams were caught on a doorbell security camera. And those screams have cut deeply into Illinois politics and focused the people on the Democrat criminal justice centerpiece—the Safe-T Act signed and applauded by Gov. Pritzker.

And to all this comes Chris Kempczinski, the CEO of McDonald’s Corp. who spoke at the Economic Club of Chicago luncheon and delivered a series of body blows to Mayor Lightfoot’s reelection campaign:

The issue? Crime and her inability to handle it. Crime is up almost 40 percent in Chicago, though murder numbers have dropped slightly. Kempeczinski told his audience that violent crime makes it difficult to attract employees to Chicago.

Read more here.

Related: Editorial: McDonald’s CEO is worried about Chicago. His compelling menu of changes has 3 main categories.

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Helm

Christopher Castillo

A Carpentersville man who said God told him to kill his family’s dog pleaded guilty Wednesday to aggravated cruelty to an animal.

Christopher Castillo, 24, was sentenced to 18 months of probation. He could have received up to three years in prison.

Castillo is required to continue participating in psychotherapy.

According to Kane County Forest Preserve District police, around 4:30 a.m. March 25, 2021, Castillo told his parents he was taking the dog out for a walk.

When he did not return by 8 a.m., they reported him missing. The family eventually found Castillo’s car, a piece of clothing and the wounded dog in the parking lot of the Helm Woods Forest Preserve near Barrington Hills, authorities said.

Read more here.

Related:Carpentersville man charged with animal cruelty in dog stabbing

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Rebate

Must be election season

Called an election-year gimmick by some, tax rebate checks start going out to Illinois taxpayers Monday. Critics say permanent tax relief is needed in one of the highest taxes states in the country.

The money is being given back as part of the Illinois Relief Plan, a $1.8 billion aid package Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law in the spring.

To qualify, a person must have been an Illinois resident in 2021 with an adjusted gross income under $200,000 for individual tax filers and under $400,000 for those who filed as couples. 

Taxpayers who filed as a single person on their returns will be eligible to receive $50, and those who filed joint returns will receive $100. If you claimed dependents, you will receive an additional $100 per dependent with a maximum of $300.  

“Whether you had to pay or you got money back, it doesn’t matter,” Illinois Comptroller Susanna Mendoza said. “Everyone who filed will be getting a tax rebate.” 

Illinois residents who paid state property taxes last year on a primary residence will be getting rebates as well. Adjusted gross income must be under $250,000 for single filers and under $500,000 for those who filed as couples. The amount of this rebate depends on the amount of property taxes paid.

State officials said the distribution of the checks should take about two months. 

State Sen. Dan McConchie, R-Hawthorne Woods, thinks the rebates are all about election year posturing.

“The plan has checks arrive just before the election and then tax reductions expire right after the election,” McConchie said.   

More here.

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