Archive for the ‘Property Taxes’ Category

1.24.22 Agenda

Our Village Board of Trustees meets tomorrow evening at 6:30 PM.  Some of the topics on their agenda include:

  • [Vote] An Ordinance Granting an Amendment to an Existing Special Use Permit to Allow an Addition to Countryside Elementary School, 205 W. County Line Road Ordinance 22 –
  • [Vote] A Resolution Adopting an Intergovernmental Agreement with the Cook County Assessor’s Office to Facilitate Access to GIS Data Resolution 22 –
  • [Vote] Plan Commission Appointment: Maggie Topping, term expires 2024

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

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Mask Shot

Parents, students and schools across the state are waiting for a ruling from a circuit court judge on a petition to block masks from being required on children in some Illinois schools.

Illinois is one of 13 states that still require masks on school children. Gov. J.B. Pritzker has had the mandate in place since August.

A case heard in Sangamon County Circuit Court Thursday has more than 700 parents suing 145 school districts, the governor and state education officials over the mandates that include excluding students from in-person learning for possibly being exposed to COVID-19.

Pritzker Thursday criticized the parents’ case, saying they are fighting against “freedom from” COVID-19.

“That’s what we’re looking to do, to give people their freedom from the virus,” Pritzker said. “These people are holding us back and they’re going to close schools as a result if they were to win.”

Some schools have said their operations could be hindered without the mandate. Other schools have had masks optional all school year with minimal disruptions. Schools that don’t mandate masks face nonrecognition status from the Illinois State Board of Education, something that could mean loss of state funds and participation with recognized schools in extracurricular activities.

Attorney Thomas DeVore, who represents the parents, argued in court the issue is about individual due process rights laid out in state law.

“These children have rights when it comes to these masks, which are a device intended to limit the spread, when it comes to exclusion from school,” DeVore said. “They all have rights and their rights need to be protected and we’re asking you to protect their rights.”

More here.

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Suburban poverty

A change to the Illinois Constitution on the 2022 ballot would effectively transfer power over tax dollars from the people and their elected representatives to special interests. It would thwart any efforts to curb the nation’s second-highest property taxes.

Illinois’ property taxes are already the second-highest in the nation and a major reason taxpayers are fleeing to lower-tax states, but the problems could be made worse on Nov. 8.

That is when voters will be asked to decide on a constitutional amendment that could cause property taxes to rise even faster. The change would also prevent many of the significant reforms that could lessen homeowners’ tax burdens.

Amendment 1 would grant unprecedented powers to government unions – already Illinois’ most powerful special interest group – including the power to override voters and state lawmakers. Proponents are selling it as a constitutional ban on passing right-to-work laws – laws that protect employees’ rights to keep their jobs without having to pay fees to a union. Illinois is not one of the 28 states that currently have right-to-work laws, so that aspect has little meaning.

The amendment does include three other provisions which together would severely weaken taxpayers’ voices in state government and make it easier for government union bosses to make unaffordable demands in collective bargaining contracts. Even without these provisions, powerful government unions helped public sector wages grow 60% faster than the private sector in Illinois from 1998 to 2019.

Peer-reviewed research shows stronger public sector unions cause the cost of government to increase, with powerful unions putting even more upward pressure on benefits than on wages. Public retirement benefits, which flow mostly to union workers, have left Illinois’ local governments with $75 billion in pension debt and are already the primary cause of rising property taxes. Government unions helped Illinois politicians build the state and local pension crisis by supporting both unaffordable benefits as well as irresponsible funding games that pushed costs into the future.

Nationwide data from 2010 to 2019 shows a significant statistical association between the percentage of government workers who are union members and each state’s average effective property tax rate.

Read much more here.

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220 Hunt

District 220 Superintendent Robert Hunt

Barrington Community Unit District 220 is raising pay for substitute teachers to help ensure there are enough educators for each classroom.

“The most pressing concern is staffing and our ability to staff and keep our teachers healthy … so we can be able to open school every single day,” Superintendent Robert Hunt said during this week’s District 220 school board meeting.

Hunt asked for a temporary rate increase from $110 per day to $135.

“If we look at how we compare to other districts, I would say we’re on the low side of that range paying $110. It goes as high as $175,” he said. Hunt said the recommendation is prompted by a large number of teachers being out due to COVID-19 following winter break. “We had a significant number of absences coming into the week,” he said.

To keep the students in school, Hunt said the district has “instituted as many creative options as possible,” including splitting up classes and allowing teachers who are at home but not symptomatic to teach virtually. The increase in substitute pay is “one more tool to help us staff and keep students in school,” he said.

Hunt said his recommendation is for a temporary increase to help get through the latest surge.

“We would obviously come back to the board and have any conversations about anything more long-term,” he said.

The increase will be covered by federal pandemic relief funding.

Read more here.

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1.12 Hunt

January 12, 2022

Dear Barrington 220 Community:

Last Friday, I communicated that there was a change in guidance from the CDC regarding the length of quarantine for students and staff, and referenced forthcoming guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). Last night this guidance was released, as well as this FAQ which provides additional clarity.

District leaders have been reviewing this information, along with superintendents from other Lake County school districts and representatives from the Lake County Health Department. Our staff will work to implement necessary changes and continue to provide in-person learning. Although not a comprehensive list, below are a few important items that are being implemented:

  • Individuals who have tested positive for COVID will be required to isolate for at least 5 days following the start of symptoms or test date if asymptomatic.
  • Individuals who are identified as a close contact will be required to quarantine for 5 days following the last date of exposure. See page 20 & 21 of the ISBE Guidance to review the definition of a close contact.
  • Students/staff members who are identified as close contacts, but who do not meet criteria for being exempt from quarantine (outlined in #48 in the FAQ) may have the option to engage in a test-to-stay protocol.
  • Students who were exposed during lunch may now be eligible for test-to-stay. Impacted families will receive information on requirements for remaining in school during the contact tracing process.
  • Windows for return to athletics and extracurricular activities are different, and longer than the isolation/quarantine windows required for return to work or school; asymptomatic students who are in isolation or quarantine may return to practice/rehearsals following Day 5, but must remain masked through Day 10 and may not participate in competitions/performances until a 10 day window is completed.
  • Home tests are not accepted as proof of infection. All students and staff (regardless of vaccination status) excluded with COVID-19-like symptoms should be diagnostically tested with a PCR or rapid antigen or molecular test with emergency use authorization by the FDA. See #43 in the FAQ for more information.

In addition to this updated guidance, I wanted to make you aware that this morning the district was notified of a change in rostering of students that recently opted in to SHIELD testing. This has impacted students being tested this week. We are currently working on this and anticipate it will be resolved for next week’s testing schedule. If you would like to make changes regarding your child’s SHIELD testing status, please note that it may take up to seven days for those changes to go into effect.

I want to thank our entire staff as they have all stepped forward to manage changes and work to keep students at school. I appreciate your ongoing support.”

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BHPD New Masthead

The Barrington Hills Park District Board will hold their, “Annual Budget and Appropriation Hearing,” via Zoom and in person this evening at 6:45 PM. A copy of their agenda absent of any financial information can be viewed here.

At 7:00 PM, the District will be conducting their regular monthly meeting. A copy of their agenda can be viewed here.

The Park District is located at 361 Bateman Road. Information on how to join the Zoom meetings tonight can be found here.

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Barrington Area Library

Some northwest suburban village, park and library boards are returning to holding remote meetings while others are still mulling their options in light of an uptick in COVID-19 infections.

During the last year, many boards relied on Zoom, YouTube or Facebook Live social media platforms to livestream meetings, in an effort to keep the public engaged but also exercise public health mitigations due to the pandemic.

Although the remote options were not a favorite of some village officials and residents who preferred face-to-face interaction and participation, many village officials say they found them to be the safest way to help protect against the spread of the coronavirus in gatherings both large and small.

The Barrington Village Board’s plans for meetings also remains unchanged.

“The village of Barrington will continue in-person meetings, as we have since very early on in the pandemic,” said Amy Seklecki, events and marketing manager for the village of Barrington. “Our meeting room is set up to be appropriately distanced and the Board appreciates the ability to communicate in-person to the greatest extent possible.”

However, the Barrington Park District is planning a virtual meeting this month. Carla Smothers, superintendent of administrative services, said residents interested in receiving the Zoom link to the next park district remote meeting must email her to get the link information.

The Barrington Area Library board returned to virtual meetings back in October, said library spokeswoman Karen McBride, knowing that people might be seeing family more during the holidays and have more contact, risking virus transmission.

“It was some foresight,” McBride said of the board’s early decision.

Read the full Chicago Tribune article here.

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220 Admin

The District 220 Board of Education meets this evening at 7:00 PM at the District Administration Center, 515 W. Main Street.  A copy of the agenda can be viewed here.

The meeting will be livestreamed on the district YouTube channel.

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Hunt-o-gram“January 4, 2022

Dear Barrington 220 Community,

My hope is that you have been able to enjoy time with family and friends during this winter break. On behalf of our Board of Education and the entire staff, I would like to wish you a Happy New Year.

As you are aware, there has been a consistent rise in COVID-19 transmission in recent weeks. Throughout winter break we have monitored community transmission, as well as staff cases, and evaluated recent changes to guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). We feel it is appropriate to provide an update at this time as we plan to welcome our students back for in-person learning on January 10, 2022.

On December 27, 2021, the CDC updated recommendations for quarantining for those who test positive and those who are considered close contacts. However, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) informed schools that while the IDPH has adopted the CDC’s guidance for the “general public”it has not applied this to the school setting. Therefore, students and staff will continue to follow IDPH COVID-19 School Guidance, which means we will continue to follow the same quarantine protocols we followed prior to winter break. We are hopeful that new guidance will be released by the IDPH soon and we will update you when we receive additional information.

District leaders and the Board of Education have established that the primary goal for this school year is to do everything possible to provide in-person learning, as this best supports our students’ academic, social and emotional growth. To that end, we will continue to implement the following layered mitigations that were in place prior to winter break:

  • Symptom screening
  • Designated entrances for students/visitors
  • Physical distancing
  • Universal masking
  • Hand sanitizing
  • SHIELD, BinaxNow, and PCR testing
  • Limited visitors
  • Seating charts and assigned cohort seating in lunch (PreK-8)
  • Physical education outside whenever possible

Due to the recent increase in cases, the district has added the following mitigation efforts:

  • All students and staff are encouraged to test prior to returning to school on Monday, January 10, 2022. The district will be offering testing to any interested students and/or staff members in the Barrington High School cafeteria from 9:00-3:00pm on Thursday Jan 6, 2022 and Friday Jan 7, 2022. Please enter through Door 45 off Lake Cook Road. Please bring your student or staff ID badge. Participants are consenting to the results being viewed and maintained confidentially by the school district.
  • Students who have not been participating in SHIELD testing may choose to opt into SHIELD testing when school resumes. If you are interested, please contact the front office at your child’s school beginning on Monday, January 10, 2022.
  • Maintain 6 feet of social distancing in all lunch rooms.
  • Install bipolar ionization units to improve air quality.
  • Review and reinforce mitigation measures including hand washing, masking, and social distancing during the school day.
The current trend in cases with staff and students, as well as the continuation of current quarantine recommendations, places our primary goal of providing in-person learning at risk. Although there have been divided opinions throughout this pandemic, there has been consensus around the importance of keeping students in school. It is in this place of agreement that I ask you to assist the district in doing everything possible to maintain in-person learning.
  • Complete a COVID-19 test prior to returning to school on January 10.
  • Review and reinforce the importance of the above mitigation strategies at home.
  • If your child has not been vaccinated or received the booster, consider this option in consultation with your pediatrician.
  • If your child has received the COVID-19 vaccination, email a copy of the vaccination card to districtnurseoffice@barrington220.org.”

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Illinois scores poorly in a report on the state’s tax climate.

The Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index compares state’s tax systems using several categories, including personal income tax, corporate income tax, sales and property taxes, and unemployment insurance taxes.

The authors note that while there are many ways to show how much is collected in taxes by state governments, the Index is designed to show how well states structure their tax systems and provides a road map for improvement.

Policy analyst Janelle Cammenga said Illinois ranked 36th overall in the country, and was hurt by the state’s corporate business tax.

“The state did enact new [tax break] treatment of temporary operating losses,” Cammenga said. “Now when it comes to net operating losses it does cap those at $100,000 for tax years 2021 through 2024, so that will really make a difference to businesses especially in a time right now of economic downturn where they might be seeing more losses than in other years.”

Cammenga said the only category that kept Illinois from ranking lower is the personal income tax.

“The individual income tax is what is really bringing Illinois’ score up right now because it has a flat income tax of 4.95% where as the rest of the tax code is not as competitive,” Cammenga said.

Read more here.

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