Archive for the ‘Deception’ Category


“Pennies from Pritzker”

Illinoisans will receive some modest tax relief starting (today) when the state’s new fiscal year begins.

That includes some income tax rebates, property tax rebates, a suspension of the state’s 1 percent tax on groceries, and a six-month pause on the scheduled inflationary increase in the state’s motor fuel tax.

Tax relief measures beginning today include:

  • An income tax rebate of $50 per individual with income below $200,000 a year, or $100 for couples filing jointly with income below $400,000 a year, plus $100 per dependent child, up to three children.
  • A suspension of the 1 percent sales tax on groceries through June 2023.
  • A suspension of the scheduled inflationary increase in the motor fuel tax through Dec. 31, which has been estimated at 2.2 cents per gallon. Instead, the motor fuel tax will increase twice at the rate of inflation next calendar year.
  • A sales tax holiday on back-to-school items, to run from Aug. 5 to Aug. 14, when the rate will be imposed at 1.25 percent instead of the regular 6.25 percent.
  • And an additional property tax rebate of up to $300 for homeowners who were eligible to claim the property tax credit on their 2021 state tax returns. The rebate is available to joint filers earning $500,000 or less and single filers earning $250,000 or less.

In addition, the tax relief package included a permanent expansion of the state’s earned income tax credit, or EITC, to 20 percent of the federal EITC while also extending eligibility for that credit to noncitizens who file taxes using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number instead of a Social Security Number.

Republicans criticized that package as an election-year gimmick, noting that the rebate checks would show up in people’s mailboxes or bank accounts before Election Day, while motor fuel tax suspension would disappear soon after Election Day.

Read more here.

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For those attempting to view the recordings we posted of the June 21st Board of Education last week (“District 220 goes too far (again)“), they now state they’re “Private” (as seen above).  A new recording of the meeting was added to the 220 YouTube channel an hour ago.

To access the one public comment we documented, click here.  To review all public comments, click here. And to watch the recording from the beginning, click here.

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Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker addressees the New Hampshire Democratic Convention on Saturday, June 18, 2022

MANCHESTER, N.H. — New Hampshire Democrats zeroed in on abortion rights during their annual convention here Saturday, bringing in Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker to prop up the campaigns of Sen. Maggie Hassan and governor candidate Tom Sherman, who will likely ease through September’s primary but face tough races heading into November’s general election.

“The Republican Party is so afraid of the power and influence women have achieved in our society that they are seeking to shame and criminalize your very autonomy,” said Pritzker, who leads a state that has a law that codifies Roe v. Wade.

It’s a subject that generated the most applause throughout the day, including during a speech by Marty Walsh, Secretary of Labor and the former mayor of Boston (Massachusetts also has codified Roe). For the record, Walsh told the crowd, he’s not running for president.

Pritzker’s name, on the other hand, has popped up repeatedly as a potential future presidential candidate, most recently when it was announced he’d be speaking Saturday in New Hampshire. But the Democratic governor’s political team says Pritzker is only focused on his reelection and on helping elect Democrats across the country who support abortion rights.

Pritzker, a self-described “Ukrainian-American, Jewish, Democratic, billionaire, businessman,” was scheduled to travel to Maine after leaving New Hampshire to campaign for Democratic Gov. Janet Mills.

By the end of his speech, Pritzker had won over a cadre of Belknap County delegates who enthusiastically told a POLITICO reporter that they’d like to see him run for higher office.

“I think he should be our next president,” Johnna Davis, co-chair of the Belknap County Democrats, said as a couple other delegates seated in her row nodded along. “He’s got great energy. He’s perfect.”

Oy. Read more of the story here.

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A state audit found the Illinois Department of Employment Security lost to fraud more than half of the $3.6 billion in federal COVID-19 dollars earmarked for out-of-work Illinoisans. The full scope of the unemployment fraud remains unknown.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security sent nearly $2 billion in unemployment benefits to crooks during the pandemic, losing more than half the federal dollars earmarked for out-of-work Illinoisans, according to a new audit.

The partial state report uncovered “unprecedented” levels of theft, showing the agency failed to “maintain accurate and complete” data on residents filing claims through the program. IDES previously admitted there were 212,000 false claims, but had refused to disclose the cost.

Auditors said this resulted in the vast majority of fraudsters being successful at stealing real Illinoisans’ identities and swiping their unemployment payments. In total, the department lost more than half of the $3.6 billion in pandemic funds promised to residents between July 2020 and June 2021.

Republican state lawmakers have decried the rampant fraud and blamed Gov. J.B. Pritzker for mismanaging the program rollout, which ranked seventh worst in the nation. IDES has attempted to downplay the losses.

IDES failures during the pandemic were widespread. It was months late in implementing a system to get federal dollars to the self-employed, allowed a data breach that exposed the private data of 32,483 unemployment applicants, made applicants wait months for benefits and at one point had a call backlog of 156,000 people awaiting help with their claims.

IDES administrators said they “stopped roughly $40 billion in fraudulent payments across state and federal programs” through the end of last year and have introduced new technologies to mitigate theft moving forward.

More here.

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Property Taxation

A proposed change to the Illinois Constitution would effectively transfer power over taxpayer money to government worker unions. The trend of property tax hikes would likely grow even worse during the next four years.

It’s election season in Illinois, and politicians are running on the promise of property tax relief as usual, including every major candidate for governor.

Illinois’ property taxes are already the second-highest in the nation and a major reason taxpayers are fleeing to lower-tax states. That problem could be made worse on Nov. 8 when voters will be asked to decide the fate of Amendment 1, a tax hike disguised as a “workers rights amendment.”

The change would prevent commonsense reforms to reduce homeowners’ tax burdens while giving government union leaders virtually limitless new ways to demand higher costs from taxpayers. If it passes, Illinois’ trend of large annual property tax increases will likely grow faster than ever. Gov. J.B. Pritzker has failed to deliver on property tax relief during his term – the average family paid $1,913 more during his administration.

Amendment 1 would guarantee that family pays at least $2,149 in higher property tax bills over the next four years, no matter which politicians win this November or how well they try to follow through on their promises.

This is a conservative estimate, assuming the rapid growth of Illinois’ property tax burden holds steady. It’s likely property taxes would grow at an even faster rate, because Amendment 1 would give Illinois government unions unprecedented bargaining powers that don’t exist in any other state. Exactly how much faster is an open question.

Read on here.

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Commonwealth Edison electricity customers would get more than $38 million in refunds tied to the federal bribery scandal that led to former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s indictment, under a proposal being considered by state regulators.

While it would be about $17 million higher than the refund ComEd proposed in December, a utility watchdog estimated a typical residential customer would save “less than $5″ in the form of a credit on bills.

The new proposed order was filed this week by an administrative law judge at the Illinois Commerce Commission, which could consider the proposal by early September.

The proposal is designed to resolve two ICC investigations — one regulators initiated and one required by a new energy law approved last year. A key part of both probes was to examine whether ComEd improperly charged ratepayers costs tied to the scandal.

Read more here.

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The Riding Club of Barrington Hills (RCBH) recently released their April newsletter.  Topics covered this month include:

  • State of the trails
  • Saturday morning trail rides
  • 4th of July parade
  • What’s happening at the Park District, and
  • Forest Preserve

A copy of the RCBH newsletter can be viewed and downloaded here.

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The Barrington Hills Park District Board will hold their regular monthly meeting this evening in person and via Zoom at 7:00 PM.  A copy of their agenda can be viewed here.

Instructions for accessing the meeting remotely can be found here.

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JB Census

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker made a big deal out of “finding” 250,000 hidden Illinoisans during the past decade, claiming the state population was over 13 million in the 2020 Census head count.

“I look forward to celebrating this development with all Illinoisans, including those who routinely badmouth our state,” Pritzker said in a press statement last week.

Two interesting observations here.

First, Pritzker cheerily embraces the idea of population gain, despite plenty of evidence Illinois is rapidly losing people, and he misinterpreted what the U.S. Census Bureau was saying. Of course, you’d expect him to grab onto the “Illinois is growing” theme, because it lets him ignore the public policy issues that he’s made worse, including $2,165 in new taxes per family that are driving those families out.

“Move along. Nothing to see here,” Pritzker is saying.

Second, he tried to hush anyone who calls him out for his mistake by expecting even those who “routinely badmouth our state” to join him in his glee. Facts can be troublesome things, but telling the truth is far from badmouthing.

So now for some truth telling.

The U.S. Census Bureau knows counting every person is a problem. For decades they and experts have argued that there are better, more accurate ways than spending $14.2 billion to send surveys, knock on doors and try to find every homeless person under a bridge. “One, two, three… 331,893,745.”

The Op-Ed continues here.

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Editorial note: What follows was posted to the Village website Friday after The Observer’s posting of our commentary:

“The Village experienced technical difficulties during the Board of Trustees Meeting this past week, leading to a less than optimal streaming quality. We are working to improve this. Our goal is to upgrade to a more reliable system. In the meantime, the existing system has been tuned up, to improve the audio quality.

In addition to the audio that is live-streamed from the meeting, a recording of the meeting is made available shortly after the meeting at barringtonhills-il.gov/meeting-packets. Since this audio is not being streamed, the quality is more consistent.

We appreciate your feedback. As always please contact us at 847-551-3000 or village@vbhil.gov with any questions or concerns.”

Click here to view the post.

Related:What message is the Cecola administration sending residents?

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