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Archive for the ‘Pension Funding’ Category

Gov. J.B. Pritzker wants you to trust him. He and his fellow Democrats are pushing their “fair tax” proposal on the November ballot. And they promise that if you vote “yes,” they’ll only take from the rich, not the middle class.

They’re spinning the story on video ads that Pritzker is paying for, and in the media. And here’s the spin: If you vote for Pritzker’s “fair tax” amendment, and change the state constitution to abolish the current flat tax, there’s no way they’ll use their new “progressive” tax to reach down into the middle class and grab middle-class money.

No way. They promise. Trust them.

Who wouldn’t trust Pritzker? And just look at House Speaker Michael Madigan, the Democratic Party boss of Illinois, smiling impishly, even with all that federal heat on him and the FBI’s big federal bus rolling back and forth between Springfield and Chicago. Who wouldn’t trust Boss Madigan? Isn’t trust everything?

Some of you want to trust them. I get it. They’re powerful people, and Illinoisans have been trained to bow and scrape before their lords. Besides, I bet that some who believe they’ll only tax the rich also want to believe that someday, they might have tiny purple unicorns as pets.

But the problem is reality — and a series of excellent Chicago Tribune editorials on broken promises from the political class in Springfield.

Read more of John Kass’ column here.

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July is sweat-and-fret month for many taxpayers in Illinois: How will households slammed by job disruptions and a public health contagion now pay their property tax bills? Those local taxes gouge virtually everyone: Employers and homeowners — or whoever services their mortgages — make most of these payments to the county treasurer; renters indirectly pay property taxes in rent to the landlord.

And after the pending property tax deadline, another threat looms. Voters this fall will decide whether to let their politicians raise state income taxes or instead force them to clamp down on state spending that just grows and grows.

What we call the proposed “Pritzker Tax” — named for Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who calls it a “fair tax” — would replace Illinois’ constitutionally protected flat-rate income tax with graduated rates. The change would make it easier for politicians in Springfield to raise income taxes. Currently, a tax hike requires more heft from politicians because it affects every taxpayer. Tinkering with a graduated structure is a softer lift.

Oh! We’re just raising this itty-bitty rate on this itty-bitty group of people. Those itty-bitties add up.

As a voter, you’re supposed to trust Illinois politicians. Trust that they’ll give you property tax relief. Trust that they’ll start passing smarter budgets. Trust that they’ll undo some of their past mistakes. Oh, and trust that they’ll only slap this top itty-bitty 3% of taxpayers with higher tax rates — as if higher earners are to blame for this state’s fiscal mess. You’ll see ads urging you to trust the pols, including the most influential pol, House Speaker Michael Madigan, and vote yes on the Pritzker Tax amendment. Pritzker dumped more than $50 million of his own money into the campaign to get it passed.

Read more of the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board’s opinions here.

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The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District’s plan to build a fire station at 1004 S. Hough Street in unincorporated Barrington marks the next step in a multi-year effort to provide more effective fire and emergency medical services throughout our 48-square mile jurisdiction.

In fact, the property is ideal for achieving the following goals:

Improve Service & Response Times

Currently, we operate from two fire stations located in Lake Barrington and Barrington Hills. We’ve long sought to build a third station that would greatly improve our ability to provide rapid emergency response to the north- and southeastern sections of our District – Inverness, South Barrington, and unincorporated Barrington.

Despite more than a dozen automatic aid agreements with surrounding fire departments, we still have concerns about consistently achieving optimal response times of under six minutes to residents and businesses – nursing homes, fitness centers, automotive dealerships, and more – in these particular areas.

In 2019, the BCFPD responded to 653 emergency calls to these sections – nearly one-third of our total call volume. Our third fire station will allow us to respond to these calls far more effectively.

Moreover, in situations where we are responding to multiple calls inside our district, it sometimes takes up to 20 minutes for neighboring departments to respond. From a public safety perspective, that is unacceptable.

Lower Homeowners’ Insurance Rates

Beyond public safety, a third station at this location will also help maintain affordable insurance rates for BCFPD homeowners. Our Insurance Service Office (ISO) rating – which helps determine what homeowners pay for insurance – is currently a 3/4. A third station in this location will prevent our ISO rating – and your insurance rates – from increasing.

Avoid Tax Increases

The BCFPD’s commitment to fiscal discipline, combined with long-term planning initiatives, will allow us to build and staff this new fire station without raising taxes on the residents who fund our operations.

Focus on Public Safety

The need for a third fire station is driven by data and facts:

  • Rapid response to fire and emergency medical situations is critical for saving lives and protecting property. In our profession, the difference between success and failure, or between life and death, can come down to mere minutes.
  • Patients suffering from cardiac arrest symptoms usually have less than 4 minutes before brain death begins. Rapid intervention and treatment by trained EMS professionals greatly improve the odds of survival.
  • A small flame can turn into a major fire in less than 30 seconds. And it takes only minutes for thick black smoke or flames to engulf a home or business.

The BCFPD is a public safety entity dedicated to the well-being of our entire community. Our ability to respond most effectively to medical emergencies and dangerous structure fires depends on our proximity to their locations.

Our new fire station at 1004 S. Hough Street will vastly improve our ability to protect our constituents.

Sincerely,

Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District Trustees

Related: Here we go again!

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Illinois’ General Assembly, which had finally approved a budget but failed to act on an amendment regarding property tax freezes, should take a harder look at itself, Barrington Hills Village President Martin McLaughlin said during a recent interview.

“What is ridiculous is the General Assembly that hasn’t had the ability to deliver a balanced budget in years and refuses to address the public pension debacle that is a large contributor to the tax burden are the ones pointing to other entities as the problem,” McLaughlin told the Lake County Gazette.

Barrington Hills Village President Martin McLaughlin

McLaughlin said he has some experience doing what lawmakers in the Illinois General Assembly need to be doing. “As a village president that has reduced our Barrington Hills levy four out of my five years in office I am all for a freeze,” he said.

“However I would prefer a 15 percent reduction from all taxing bodies that make up our property tax bills – school districts, townships, community colleges, library districts, fire districts, abatement districts and others,” he said. ” Elected and appointed officials need to understand that Illinois taxpayers are in serious trouble. We are declining in population as people give up and move out of our state.”

To read the full article in the Lake County Gazette, click here.

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VBH__LogoThe Village Board will meet on tonight September 25th at 6:30 PM. The agenda and e-Packet can be found here.

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VBH__LogoThe Village Board will meet on Monday August 28th at 6:30 PM. The agenda can be viewed here and the e-Packet can be found here.

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VBH__LogoThe ePacket agenda containing links to documents to be discussed during Tuesday evening’s Village Board meeting has been posted.  To access the ePacket link, click here.

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vote Both major regional newspapers recently released the responses to their Candidate Questionnaires.

Here are the trustee candidate questionnaires published in the Northwest Herald.

To read village president candidates’ answers to the Northwest Herald’s questions, click here.

The link to the Daily Herald’s village president profiles is here, and the trustee candidate profile link is here.

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Colleen Konicek-Hannigan

After experiencing some political turbulence in the transition to a new administration in 2013, government in the village of Barrington Hills is beginning to settle back into a sense of stability, if not yet absolute calm. While the village has put a decades-old lawsuit behind it, reduced expenses and revised some of its communications systems, some residents remain concerned that more needs to be done — and that some of the things that have been done have moved the village in the wrong direction.

In that climate, seven people have filed to seek three available positions on the village board.  Readers can see the entire Daily Herald article by clicking on this link.

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McLaughlin

Martin J. McLaughlin

It’s not every elected official who can state unequivocally that he delivered on every campaign promise, but Martin McLaughlin can record his accomplishments in black and white — budget, spending and tax levy all reduced; settlement of labor issues and an unbelievably long-standing civil suit with Sears; efficiencies gained through consolidation of functions and resources and a variety of achievements aimed at maintaining the town’s rural charm; and building a greater sense of community. We didn’t endorse McLaughlin in his first bid for village president, but we can’t argue with the results on the balance sheet of his first term.

The full Daily Herald Editorial Board endorsement can be read here.

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