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Archive for the ‘BOHICA’ Category

TAX-LEVY _1_

“At the Nov. 15 Board meeting, the Board heard a presentation about the tentative 2022 tax levy, which is the first step in the process to establish a final levy of property taxes to support the district in 2023. Barrington 220 collects property taxes from Kane, Lake, Cook and McHenry Counties, and property taxes account for approximately 81% of the district’s annual operating revenues.

If approved, the district expects to receive a 5.6% tax increase compared to last year, however it is requesting a 6.6% increase in the event new construction is larger than expected. Based upon projections, excluding bond and interest, the total expected tax revenue to be collected in 2023 is $140,318,584.

The next step in the tax levy approval process is a public hearing set for the Dec. 6 Board meeting. The Board is anticipated to approve the final tax levy on Dec. 20.”

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Oct 24 Meeting

Our Village Board of Trustees will be conducting their regular monthly meeting beginning this evening at 6:30 PM. Some topics on the agenda include:

  • [Vote] A Resolution Authorizing the Purchase and Installation of Tile Flooring by the Village of Barrington Hills Resolution 22 – 12
  • Meeting Calendar 2023 – Draft
  • BACOG’s Private Well Water Testing Summary

Also, for those who’ve endured the deplorable sound quality when phoning in to attempt to participate in board meetings conversations, a new phone number appears on tonight’s agenda. What’s just swell about this new number is an eleven (11) digit meeting ID is required to participate on the call.

One can only assume this added aggravation will result in significantly improved sound quality.  We’re looking forward to being pleasantly surprised.

A copy of the agenda can be viewed and downloaded here.

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Am1-Issues-Stamp

Amendment 1 on the November ballot in Illinois has supporters saying it gives workers an even playing field when negotiating with their higher-ups. Opponents say the measure will lead to more tax increases.

The amendment has been the subject of much debate as many Democrats say the amendment is a way to codify workers’ rights in Illinois.

Bryce Hill of the Illinois Policy Institute said it likely will increase property taxes.

“Amendment 1 would open up and create this Pandora’s Box of new subjects of collective bargaining, and each new subject will ultimately raise the cost to taxpayers,” Hill said. “The cost of government gets more expensive when you have to meet new demands.”

Illinois residents already pay the second highest property taxes in the nation. The Illinois Policy Institute property tax calculator indicates that if Amendment 1 is passed, Cook County residents who own a house valued at the county average will see a $3,000 increase in property taxes over the next four years. DuPage County residents meeting the same requirements would see an estimated $2,200 increase and in Madison County, property owners would see on average a $700 increase over that same time frame.

Hill said if voters approve the measure, it would also stop future tax relief legislation.

“These pro-taxpayer reforms, the things that taxpayers need to get relief from this crushing property tax burden, will be thwarted,” Hill said. “Those things will be deemed unconstitutional in many cases because of the wording of the language.”

Read more here.

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ethics

Last Winter, the Village of Lake Barrington published the following in their seasonal newsletter:

Lake Barrington’s Ethics Commission

Did you know that the Village has an Ethics Commission? The independent commission adds to the overall transparency of our government and serves to investigate complaints alleging violations of the Ethics Chapter of the Village Code. We are proud to report that this 3-member Commission has never once had to meet regarding a violation!”

Their Municipal Code actually devotes a chapter to ethics, and the main page of their website contains a link to, “Report a Concern.”

As previously chronicled in this publication, if one searches our Village Code, keying in the word “ethics,” the result reads, “No Matches Found.”

Our Village needs an Ethics Commission.  How else could parties involved in complaints present their respective cases to determine if ethics violations did, or did not, occur? Listed below are typical practices that might arise in our Village, and in our opinion, may warrant investigation, understanding that there are no implications as to guilt or innocence of any on the list:

  • Should expensive legal battles, possibly precipitated by actions of elected and appointed Village officials, be investigated?
  • Should the hiring and retention of Village paid staff positions by elected family members be investigated?
  • Should contracts with vendors who maintain personal and professional relationships with elected Village officials and their families be investigated?
  • Should the solicitations of funds and hand selection of vendors by family members or close friends of elected Village officials, absent oversight by appointed Village committees, be investigated?

For these and other reasons, our Village needs to appoint an Ethics Commission to act as ombudsmen, when any question of potential maladministration or ethics violations is considered or occurs.

Candidates for this proposed commission could come from existing appointed Village bodies, ones whose objectivity would be unquestioned.

The perfect candidates for this roll are the incumbent members of the Board of Heath.  They are highly qualified, underutilized, and would prove to be an effective force in maintaining ethical governance of the Village of Barrington Hills.

Related:Our predominantly pusillanimous Village Board (Part 1),” “Our predominantly pusillanimous Village Board (Part 2),” “Better Government Association Commends Passage of Chicago Ethics Ordinance–Sees More to Do,” “What happened to ethics reform in Illinois government? Why watchdogs have some hope,” “Meanwhile, One Barrington Hills makes amends, extinguishes website and turns the volume down,” “Learn from your (big) mistake, Laura, Bryan, Dave and Tom,” “Agreed

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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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Facts

The so-called “Workers’ Rights Amendment” would lead to substantial tax increases for working Illinoisans and small business owners.

The No. 1 priority of Illinois’ government unions in 2022 is to pass an amendment to the Illinois Constitution in November. They’ve branded the constitutional question as the “Workers’ Rights Amendment,” and they’re spending millions of dollars on misleading TV ads to promote it.

But Illinois voters won’t see the words “Workers’ Rights Amendment” at the top of the ballot. Instead, they’ll see a question labeled “Proposed Amendment to the 1970 Illinois Constitution.” That’s Amendment 1.

The plain text of Amendment 1 does four things:

  1. Creates a “fundamental right” for government workers to unionize and bargain, on par with the freedoms of speech and religion.
  2. Expands bargaining for government worker unions beyond wages and benefits to include broad new subjects, including “economic welfare.”
  3. Prohibits state and local lawmakers from passing taxpayer-friendly reforms, such as limits to the length of government union contracts or improved disciplinary measures for misconduct.
  4. Bans right to work, a policy that would prevent workers from being fired for refusing to pay money to a union.

Examined one by one, these elements show the amendment is much broader than proponents are claiming.

Illinois Policy Institute research shows, if approved, Amendment 1 would:

Here’s everything Illinoisans need to know about Amendment 1

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Unemployment Fraud

A U.S. Department of Labor report stated Illinois failed to report theft of pandemic relief money as required. Illinois lost over half of pandemic unemployment funds to fraud.

The U.S. Department of Labor criticized Illinois for failing to report data on fraudulent pandemic unemployment payments, stating future fraud is hard to prevent when past fraud isn’t tracked.

Illinois lost over half of its pandemic unemployment funds to fraud, according to a state audit.

“Without accurate state performance information, Congress and the [Employment and Training Administration] are not able to fully assess state activities and mitigate the risk of overpayments and fraud for future programs of a similar nature,” the report stated.

A separate report from Illinois Auditor General Frank Mautino found about $1.9 billion of the $3.6 billion distributed from July 2020 to June 2021 was paid to illegitimate accounts.

Online chat rooms offered tutorials on how to scheme Illinois’ unemployment benefits through identity theft, according to David Maimon, criminology professor at Georgia State University.

“We see many identities, many bank accounts, many driver’s licenses that are associated with Illinois residents” for sale on the dark web, Maimon said.

More here.

Related: “Suburban police departments are being flooded with reports of fraudulent unemployment benefit claims: ‘It doesn’t make a lot of sense.’,” “Unemployment insurance fraud is growing in Illinois. Here’s what you need to know.,” “Illinois Republicans urge Gov. Pritzker to opt-out of expanded unemployment benefits,” “IDES report detailing scope of Illinois unemployment fraud remains unpublished one year later,” “Audit reveals Illinois lost nearly $2 BILLION to COVID-19 unemployment fraud

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Joe Biden

Gov. J.B. Pritzker boasted about financial responsibility and sympathy towards working families, but the average family of three can expect to save only $35.52 per month as inflation eats away $90 from that family’s budget.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is boasting about what his Illinois Family Relief Plan means, but a little math shows it means $35.52 a month in savings for the average family at the same time inflation is eating $90 from their budget.

Pritzker’s relief plan started July 1. It suspended the state grocery sales tax until July 2023, delayed the July gas tax hike until January, offered property tax rebates for middle- and low-income families as well as minor, temporary income tax credits.

With a declining state population of 12.67 million, the average Illinois family of three can count on saving roughly $35.52 per month, based on Pritzker’s projection of $1.8 billion in tax relief over about a year. A monthly check of that amount would be quickly eaten by rising state inflation, which took an additional $90 from Illinois households in June and is trending upward.

Pritzker called the package a “new and creative way” to deliver relief. He also boasted about his administration’s fiscal record: “We are doing that because Democrats balanced the budget, eliminated the bill backlog, and the state government is now running a surplus,” he said.

The problem is, his claims are all false about the budgetbacklog and surplus. None of those fiscal issues have been fixed.

While Illinois families are seeing their incomes eroded by inflation, state government enjoyed record-high tax revenues topping $57 billion in 2021, according to data from the St. Louis Fed. Under the generous assumption that tax revenue remains constant in 2022, $1.8 billion is chump change, representing a mere 3.16% rebate. No surprise, because the package offers little refuge from the crippling tax burden faced by Illinoisans.

Read more here.

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220 White Elephant

District 220’s White Elephant hits the market for a third time

Barrington School District 220 is trying for a third time to sell its former district office, and the school board approved a resolution at a meeting last month that allows for the sale.

A resolution to initiate the sale of the property, at 310 E. James St., was approved at the July 12 meeting.

“It’s a great location (?) in the village. There is a fair bit of flexibility with that property,” David Bein, SD220 assistant superintendent of business services/chief school business official, told Pioneer Press.

The 12,413-square-foot, single tenant office building is on a 65,037-square-foot or 1.49-acre parcel of land and is described as “conveniently located near downtown Barrington with excellent access to commuter trains.”

The real estate is being sold by sealed bid at a minimum price of $545,000, according to district officials. Bids will be accepted until 11 a.m. on Sept. 6.

“There’s a state law that governs how school districts can sell properties. One of the options is through an auction process, which you can either do as a live auction or sealed bid auction. The nature of this property, we believe, lends itself to a sealed bid auction,” Bein said.

More here.

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APTOPIX Chicago Mayor

Chicago aldermen lacked the votes to repeal Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s lower speed camera ticketing threshold responsible for nearly $80 million in fines.

The Chicago City Council voted 18 “for” to 26 “against” repealing Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s lower ticketing threshold for Chicago speed cameras, which have been responsible for 3.8 million tickets and $79.5 million in fines – but failed to show safety improvements.

The council referendum July 20 to repeal Lightfoot’s policy of issuing $35 tickets to drivers caught going 6-10 mph over the speed limit failed. She and her allies for months made political maneuvers to keep the highly lucrative policy in place.

City Council members led by Ald. Anthony Beale tried to raise the speed camera ticketing threshold back to 10 mph, citing an original Illinois Policy Institute investigation showing despite millions of tickets, the city saw a record 72 traffic deaths in the first half of 2022. The city during that time issued the equivalent of 1.4 tickets for every resident in the nation’s third-largest city.

“The data shows it’s not about safety,” Beale told his fellow aldermen. “It’s 1,000% about revenue.”

Speed cameras collected nearly as much ticket revenue in the 16 months after March 1, 2021, when Lightfoot lowered the limit, as the city generated in the three years before her ordinance was implemented. Numerous studies showed the deaths continued to climb despite $207,000 a day in fines.

Reports from Axios and CBS Chicago found traffic deaths around speed cameras increased by as much as 114% compared the pre-policy period, and 44% in areas not under surveillance.

Read on here.

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