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Archive for the ‘Taxes’ Category

The Illinois Department of Transportation will be conducting a second public meeting tomorrow, June 25th, regarding their, “Illinois Route 62 Phase 1 Study.” The meeting is scheduled from 4PM – 7PM at the Barrington Park District located at 235 Lions Drive, Barrington.

IDOT’s first public meeting on the topic was held November 9th, 2017, so clearly they are taking their time. For those wishing to review what was covered at that first meeting, click here.

Those wishing to explore IDOT’s website covering further information on their progress (or lack thereof), on plans to widen Algonquin Road to four lanes in Barrington Hills, click here.      

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BARRINGTON, Ill. — Every Thursday in this affluent village about an hour northwest of Chicago, residents gather for classic car night, a sumptuous display of pricey, refurbished vehicles. Lately, conversation has turned to the new Democratic governor, J.B. Pritzker, and his plan to raise taxes on the richest 3 percent of Illinois residents.

Kim Flores, a retired accountant showing off his restored ­horizon-blue 1949 Cadillac, said he has supported Democrats for years, but the tax plan is causing him to reconsider.

“Increasing taxes on the rich is just nonsense,” said Flores, 72. “I completely agree that middle-income people are hurting versus the higher-income people, and that is just wrong. But what are you going to do?”

Emboldened by major state-level gains in 2018, Democrats in Illinois are pressing to raise taxes on the rich to address ­long-neglected needs, such as schools and roads. Plans to raise taxes on the rich also have been considered in New Mexico, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey this year.

Read the full Washington Post article here.

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“I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”

— Winston Churchill

State Rep. David McSweeney, Barrington Hills

Gov. J.B. Pritzker, after signing the largest budget in Illinois history, declared that the Land of Lincoln is back, but he failed to complete the rest of that sentence. Illinois is back to the failed policies of more tax increases and out of control spending. Republican “leaders” who supported Pritzker’s big government fiscal policies should be ashamed of themselves. I voted an emphatic “no” on the Pritzker budget and tax increases.

The $40 billion Fiscal Year 2020 unbalanced budget that the governor signed contains more spending than the budget he originally proposed and includes no spending reforms. The budget also includes tax increases on health insurance and online purchases. The Illinois Constitution requires “appropriations for a fiscal year shall not exceed funds estimated by the General Assembly to be available during that year.” The General Assembly did not pass a revenue estimate so this budget cannot be truly balanced. Also, overly optimistic revenue forecasts unrealistically assume that one-time revenue gains will be sustainable.

As egregious as the additional spending is, the real story of the 2019 spring session is taxes, taxes and more taxes. The progressive income tax constitutional amendment is the linchpin for massive future tax hikes and new state spending. Fortunately, voters will have the final say on the progressive income tax constitutional amendment that will be on the ballot in the general election next year. I’m confident that 60% of Illinois voters will not support massive tax increases that will eventually hit the middle class. Do you really trust Illinois political insiders to set your tax rates under a progressive tax system?

Read the full David McSweeny opinion piece in the Daily Herald here.

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In a historic vote, the Illinois House on Monday agreed to ask voters to change the 1970 state constitution by authorizing a graduated-rate tax based on the size of income and repealing the currently mandated flat-rate income tax.

The move came on a 73-44 party-line vote, two votes more than the bare minimum needed for approval. It represented a significant victory for first-term Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who campaigned for election on the concept of taxing wealthier incomes at a higher rate as part of an overall plan to deal with Illinois’ ailing finances. Pritzker hailed the vote as “a giant leap forward for the middle class.”

The proposed amendment won’t go before voters for ratification until the general election in November 2020. It would require approval from 60% of those voting on the issue, or a majority of those voting in the election, to be adopted.

Read more from the Chicago Tribune here.

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Kane County Board members opposed to the Longmeadow Parkway project may not be able to stop construction of a toll bridge over the Fox River, but they may be able to make the tolls cheaper for local residents.

Board member Mo Iqbal on Tuesday called for Chicago-based Stantec Consulting to research the ability to identify local residents as they cross the bridge and charge them a cheaper rate than people who do not live in Kane County. Iqbal pointed out it’s not uncommon to charge different rates for vehicles of varying sizes, or even those paying by cash instead of with a transponder.

“There should be another category of resident versus nonresident,” he said.

Read more here.

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Barrington High School’s stadium could receive a new artificial turf surface before the 2019-20 school year at a price lower than initially projected.

The high school’s current turf, installed in 2008, is nearing the end of its life, according to Barrington Area Unit District 220 officials.

The District 220 board next week is expected to vote on a proposal to install a new surface from FieldTurf USA Inc., which handled the original 11 years ago.

Board member Joseph Ruffolo, a member of the advisory facilities committee, said officials have been prepared to spend nearly $800,000 for the replacement surface. But now, with a likely credit from FieldTurf for reusing current material, the bill isn’t projected to exceed $700,000.

“We got a better deal than we thought we were going to get,” Ruffolo said during a facilities committee session this week (Editorial note: Isn’t it amazing how things work?).

Read more here.

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Over the years, we’ve seen the worst of townships, as when the separately elected township supervisors or assessors or road commissioners or clerks or boards do battle, duplicating costs and getting less work done for the public.

Recall, for example, the assessor in Antioch Township in Lake County moving her staff out of the township building and renting new offices after fighting with the supervisor. Or Algonquin Township in McHenry County almost running out of road salt after highway commissioner Andrew Gasser ordered a supply and the township board refused to pay for it.

We’ve also seen the best of townships, as when well-run food pantries or senior transit or general assistance programs provide safety nets for suburban residents who’ve run out of options.

With that in mind, we’re not fully in the growing “throw them out” camp that seeks to abolish townships as rural throwbacks not needed in the suburbs.

Read the full Daily Herald editorial here.

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