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Palatine, Buffalo Grove, Arlington Heights and Hoffman Estates passed resolutions Monday calling on Gov. J.B. Pritzker to alter facets of the Restore Illinois plan in an effort to help businesses. “As I said, nobody’s looking to go rogue here,” Palatine Mayor Jim Schwantz said. (Paul Valade | Staff Photographer, Feburary 2020)

Palatine, Arlington Heights and Hoffman Estates passed resolutions Monday calling on Gov. J.B. Pritzker to alter the Restore Illinois plan in an effort to help businesses.

“As I said, nobody’s looking to go rogue here,” Palatine Mayor Jim Schwantz said. “This is not something we’re looking to do. … There is not one bit of interest in turning this into a political deal. We’re abiding by the governor’s orders. We’ve abided from the very beginning. That’s not going to change.”

However, in Wheeling, where the village board discussed the Restore Illinois plan but did not put a resolution up for a vote Monday night, Trustee Joseph Vito accused Pritzker of overstepping his authority and suggested suing the state — a move his colleagues did not support.

Vito also questioned Pritzker’s plan for not allowing for gatherings of more than 50 people until Phase 5, assuming a vaccine or viable treatment for COVID-19.

Read more here, but also ask yourself where has Karen Darch been recently?

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Cuba Marsh Boardwalk

Law enforcement officials are warning residents of an increase in vehicle break-ins across Lake County since the Illinois stay-at-home order began.

According to Commander Jim Seifken, of the Lake County Forest Preserve Ranger Police, the burglaries are happening almost every day in forest preserve parking lots because of the increase in popularity at those spots.

Dozens of preserves across the county make up the Lake County Forest Preserves, including Cuba Marsh in Deer Park, Buffalo Creek in Long Grove and Heron Creek in Lake Zurich. Seifken said his department has seen about 25 reports of break-ins taking place throughout these spots since the stay-at-home order was activated.

Read more here.

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To lure Sears into a Chicago suburb, officials crafted the largest tax break package ever awarded to a company in Illinois. It resulted in revenue shortfalls, disappearing jobs and unexpected tax burdens, a Daily Herald and ProPublica review showed.

On a hot Sunday afternoon in June 1989, two of the most powerful men in Illinois met to watch a ballgame at Wrigley Field — and, if all went well, to make a deal.

James R. Thompson, the state’s four-term Republican governor, and Edward Brennan, chairman of Sears, Roebuck & Co., the world’s largest retailer, had been deep in talks for months.

The stakes were high. Brennan was threatening to move Sears’ corporate headquarters, located in downtown Chicago in what was then the tallest skyscraper in the world, to another state. The move would rob Illinois of thousands of good-paying jobs, tens of millions in tax revenues and its reputation as a business-friendly state.

As the two men watched the Montreal Expos blank the Cubs 5-0, dropping the “Lovable Losers” out of first place, Thompson told Brennan he’d do whatever it took to keep Sears from leaving. The state had crafted a package of financial incentives that the legendary political deal maker believed was too good to pass up.

After the game ended, Thompson called up one of his closest associates, Jay Hedges, director of the state’s Department of Commerce and Community Affairs. In a recent interview, Hedges recalled Thompson delivering the news of his breakthrough.

“Well, Jay, Sears is staying in Illinois,” Thompson told him. “And they want to move to Hoffman Estates.”

Read much more here.

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The Lake County Board on Tuesday approved a measure allowing a portion of property tax payments to be deferred for 60 days.

Lake County taxpayers can defer half their property tax payments for 60 days under a measure approved Tuesday to provide residents with some economic breathing room.

And in a significant change over what was being considered, a proposed requirement that residents show a need for the deferral was struck by the Lake County Board, meaning the relief will be more widely available.

As recently as Friday, residents would have to prove they’d been laid off or operated a business shut down as nonessential and hadn’t received any federal stimulus money.

“There’s no one who has been unscathed by what we’re living through,” said board member Ann Maine of Lincolnshire, who introduced an amendment to eliminate the requirement. “We need to do everything we can for everyone.”

Read more here.

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Illinois has been divided into four different regions that can progress through the phases of reopening the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Leaders in DuPage, Kane and McHenry counties argue their communities should not be on the same timeline as suburban Cook County and the city of Chicago.

A push intensified Tuesday to let the collar counties progress separately from Cook and Chicago toward Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s COVID-19 bench marks for reopening the economy.

Leaders representing DuPage, Kane and McHenry counties called on Pritzker to remove their areas from the Northeast region under the Restore Illinois plan, which also includes Cook, Grundy, Lake, Kankakee, Kendall and Will counties.

County leaders, mayors and at least one state representative say the coronavirus situation in their communities is much different from what it is in Cook County and Chicago, where the high concentrations of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths have occurred.

Read more here.

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New report shows potential impact of reduced property, sales and income tax revenue on county

McHenry County is projected to see upwards of $22 million in lost revenue for fiscal 2020 because of COVID-19-related shutdowns, according to a May 5 report from the county’s Director of Finance Kevin Bueso.

The report gives projections based on four different COVID-19 recovery scenarios which range from $6.9 million in revenue losses up to $22.1 million.

These projections are based off of the impact that COVID-19 shutdowns have had – and will continue to have – on property taxes, motor fuel taxes, sales taxes, income taxes and other economically sensitive revenue items that the county depends on.

Currently, 66% of the county’s revenue comes from 20 sources, which are sensitive to disruptions in economic activity, such as a global pandemic, according to the report.

Read more here.

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Members of the Lake County sheriff’s marine unit will not issue tickets to families boating together on Lake County waterways they patrol, Sheriff John D. Idleburg announced Wednesday. The sheriff’s announcement was prompted by questions about how many people can be in a boat at once under Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s latest order regarding the COVID-19 crisis.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity said no more than two people can be in a boat together. Idleburg’s office sought more instruction from state officials and determined local law enforcement agencies have discretion when it comes to enforcing the boating rule, he said. Idleburg cautioned people against inviting friends or anyone else who isn’t a family member aboard a boat.

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