With more units of government than any other state in the country, opportunity for corruption and waste is aplenty in Illinois. In at least one suburban Chicago township, some spending is downright illegal. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Joe Kaiser and Mark Cavers hear from DuPage Township Trustee Alyssia Benford on how she's shining a light on illegal expenditures in her township. Kaiser and Cavers also discuss how other areas of the state – namely Lake County – might duplicate Cook County's corrupt system for property tax appeals. And how is Illinois doing a year after lawmakers passed a massive, 32 percent income tax hike? The data is in, and it's not looking so great.
For decades, politicians have refused to take responsibility for overpromising on government employee pension benefits and have tried to stick you with the bill instead. How many times have the same old people tried to tax their way out of this financial crisis? Now they are back again, asking for a statewide property tax to prop up the bankrupt pension system. Pat Hughes slams the proposed 1% statewide property tax in this week's Two Minute Warning.
Look at the property tax bills/rates in majority minority communities throughout Cook County and ask the champagne socialists and race hustlers, how the Illinois Democrats and surrender GOP power structure benefits minority families? What layer of taxes are Illinois politicians looking to add on next? Dan and Amy discuss the criminal nature of the Cook County property tax system from a recent analysis done by Chicago City Wire and the dismal path the state is heading towards.
Cook County property taxpayers have been getting ripped off by Mike Madigan and Joe Berrios for decades, and it's starting to come to light more. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes break down new investigative reports showing how the political class is scamming taxpayers. They also discuss the departure of Forrest Claypool from Chicago Public Schools, and a new Wall Street Journal editorial slamming Illinois for its financial recklessness.
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Cook County’s deeply corrupt property tax system, and its deeply corrupt Assessor Joe Berrios, made national news this week. The wealthy and politically-connected can buy property tax relief by hiring the right lawyer to appeal their tax bill. In fact, Assessor Joe Berrios encourages property owners to seek appeals. Pat Hughes explains in this week's Two Minute Warning.
Dan Proft joined WVON's Petri Small to discuss Illinois Opportunity Project's effort to get a 1% Property Tax Cap Advisory Referendum on the 2018 Ballot. Learn more about the initiative at defendhomeowners.com.
WVON SEGMENT ONE
WVON SEGMENT TWO
Lawmakers head back to Springfield this week, but for many Republican lawmakers, their relationship with Gov. Bruce Rauner is too far damaged to work together on legislation. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes ask state Rep. Allen Skillicorn, R-East Dundee, what conservative lawmakers and activists should work on moving forward, given that Rauner has betrayed his base. They also discuss the numerous companies deciding not to locate to Illinois due to its lack of a Right-to-Work law. National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix gives his analysis. And Proft and Hughes discuss a new petition to cap property taxes at 1% of a home's value.
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The average homeowner in Chicago will see their property taxes increase by another 10%. Do you have to hate your money to buy in Chicago? How will you respond: revolt or bolt? Dan & Amy discussed what you can do, other than move, with Cook Co. Board of Review Commissioner Dan Patlak. And Commissioner Patlak explained who we have to thank for this series of property tax hikes.
In Upstream Ideas' 'Heart of the Matter,' Jodi Carroll, a wife and mother of three, discusses the direct impact local government policies and actions have on our families and everyday lives. In this episode, how do school referendums and other property tax increases hurt families and cause home values to decline?
Dan & Amy talked to Bruce from Skokie who detailed the pain Speaker Mike Madigan and the Chicago Democrats are inflicting on families across Illinois. Bruce implored people to wake up and revolt against the high property taxes that are confiscating families' homes to fund the luxury lifestyle of the ruling class.
Lawmakers in Springfield have been busy – but not in the best ways. In the past several weeks, notably, they overwhelmingly voted to extend the state program giving taxpayer handouts to big businesses, and the Illinois House passed a "pay equity" bill that would prohibit employers from asking prospective employees their salary history. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes talk to state Reps. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, and Peter Breen, R-Lombard, about these policy decisions coming out of Springfield.
Proft and Hughes also continue their commentary on property taxes around the state, and Hughes offers some thoughts on the mass layoffs at ESPN and Hillary Clinton's blame game on the 2016 presidential election.
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The oldest bar in Chicago is forced to close due to property taxes. Schaller's Pump sees its property taxes increase to an unaffordable $6,100 per year, forcing the bar to close for the first time since 1881. Dan & Amy discuss how the Cook County Assessor "cooks" the numbers to hike property taxes to levels that they prevent poor and minority families from owning a home.
Democrats run Illinois. If they wanted a property tax freeze or property tax reform, they could have it. So why aren’t our property taxes frozen? Pat Hughes explains in this edition of "Two-Minute Warning."
I’m Pat Hughes with this week’s Upstream Ideas’ Two-Minute Warning.
Representative Michelle Mussman, Mike Madigan’s baby-faced “Mom on a Mission” marionette, is running comprehensive property tax reform! Well, wait a minute… what about the campaign mailers we all got months ago saying Michelle Mussman and other democrats had voted for a property tax freeze. This is Illinois, isn’t it? Democrats run this place. If they wanted a property tax freeze or property tax reform, they could have it.
So why aren’t our property taxes frozen? For the same reason, Michelle Mussman’s bill won’t reform them. Mussman and Madigan don’t want to reform anything. They benefit from the current system. The higher property taxes go, the more property tax appeals there will be for the law firms– including Speaker Madigan’s – that fund democrat campaigns. Campaigns like Rep. Mussman’s that received over $850,000 from Madigan’s political committees.
The thing is they know they’re going to have to answer for the fact that your property taxes are sky-rocketing. They need to have a vote or two to put on a campaign mailer. So, they bring a bill to the floor with no intention of seeing it passed into law.
In this case, wide-eyed Michelle Mussman trots out “Comprehensive Property Tax Reform.” It is a cynical game that is being played on your time and with your money.
Families are literally being taxed out of their homes. Do they really think you will be so blinded by glossy campaign mailers that you won’t notice that? Yes, and what’s worse: they count on it.
That’s why the real fight in 2018 must be about more than Republicans vs. Democrats, Rich vs. Poor, Men vs. Women, Gay vs. Straight, White vs. Black vs. Hispanic.
The real battle will be: predatory political insiders vs. people who play by the rules. Decide which side you’re on and get in the fray. Or buckle up as Illinois continues its rocky death spiral.
You’ve been warned.
With a backlog of bills and tax hike proposals at the state level – and nearly 7,000 taxing bodies in the state at the local level – Illinois taxpayers are hit from all over. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes talk to Mark Glennon of Wirepoints.com about which proposals currently in Springfield actually help taxpayers, and which ones hurt. At the local level, they talk to a newly-elected McHenry Township trustee whose goal is to consolidate or eliminate the township entirely – savings taxpayers' money.
They also discuss the state's ongoing impasse with its largest government-worker union, AFSCME, and how a potential U.S. Supreme Court case could relieve fair share payers of the union's political stranglehold. And Proft and Hughes break down wasteful spending in higher education in the state.
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Across the state from DuPage County to the Metro East Region, local school boards are after more and more of your hard-earned money. And they think their con is bulletproof: “It’s for the children.” Who can argue with that? Pat Hughes does in this "Two Minute Warning."
This is Pat Hughes with this week’s Upstream Ideas ‘Two Minute Warning.’
Look, I get it standing up to a school board is tough. After all, they claim they’re doing everything “for the children.” Opposing school funding increases means you’re not going to be too popular. You lose friends. Miss out on parties. You get looks of distain in the car line. Standing up to a school board takes guts.
But that’s exactly what we need right now.
Across the state from DuPage to Metro East, local boards are after more and more of your hard-earned money. And they think their con is bulletproof: “It’s for the children.”
Who can argue with that?
I can. And so should you.
School boards who want to increase your taxes are not brave. They are not magnanimous. They are not doing this for children. They are raising your taxes. They are decimating your home’s value. They are wiping out your greatest investment. All so they can continue their spending.
Just look at Edwardsville. Local property tax spending grew thirty-five percent in ten years, while district enrollment grew just seven percent.
The district is ranked among the most debt-ridden school districts in Illinois.
That debt has taken a toll on home values.
But will they stop? No.
The district is asking taxpayers for another six point nine million dollars and threaten to cut sports, band, and more if voters don’t agree to hike taxes.
But is it really “for the children” when – despite constant and generous spending increases – two-thirds of fourth graders in the state don’t read or perform math at grade level? The truth is K-twelve systems have become third-party administrators to bestow salaries and benefits on adults in the system … namely teachers and administrators.
In the fight against predatory school boards, you are your community’s greatest asset. You are a change agent.
Be relentless. And be prepared. Those who benefit from this failed system are just waiting for us to get tired and get out of their way. You’ve been warned.
You already pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation even while your property values drop lower and lower. Yet, school districts across the state are demanding more of your money, claiming it is "For Our Students." Pat Hughes explains in this edition of "Dollars And Sense".
Dan & Amy look at McHenry County in the latest exclusive regional analysis of property taxes produced by Proft's Local Government Information Services as reported in community newspapers throughout Illinois. Read the full analysis here.
In McHenry County, teacher pay spikes while home values plummet
When she paid $233,000 for a blue-grey four-bedroom with red shutters at 640 Krenz Ave. on the south side of Cary, Victoria Green didn’t know someone else had been secretly borrowing against her house.
Not officially. But literally.
It was Nov. 2004. Cary School District 26, which includes the 600 block of Krenz Ave., was in a predicament.
It had just agreed to give its teachers, already the highest-paid in McHenry County, a massive pay increase. But it didn’t have the money. It was running out of cash.
Something had to give.
Previous regional reports can be viewed here:
On this edition of “Illinois Rising”, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes, Co-Founder, Illinois Opportunity Project, discuss Fitch and Moody’s continuous downgrade of Illinois bonds to Baa1 from A3, Rauner’s Property Tax Freeze, Chicago’s passage of a massive property tax increase and the latest GOP presidential debate.
On this edition of “Illinois Rising”, Dan Proft and John Tillman, President and CEO at the Illinois Policy Institute, discuss Chicago’s plan to vote on a record $583 million property tax hike, former Governor Edgar’s misrepresentation of Illinois' current budget impasse, a recent poll showing the Illinois General Assembly's low approval ratings and State Board of Education employees receiving thousands in severance pay.