School Board’s contract offer appears fair to everyone

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union representing school district bus drivers, nutrition employees and paraprofessionals have been complaining that the school board refuses to bargain with them concerning primarily health insurance and wages. The school board declared an impasse on January 11, after nine months of negotiations and the union refuses to accept the district’s final offer. AFSCME members believe the district’s contract is unfair and demands continuing negotiations. The district’s current...

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EAV Fluctuation has little effect on property taxes under Tax Caps

Most people in Rockford and around the state believe that when property values increase in a taxing district due to a real estate market turnaround, Tax Increment Finance (TIF) districts expiring or new construction, the tax base increases and the net result will be lower property taxes in that district. It doesn’t work that way under current Illinois property tax laws. Taxes do not decrease simply because the Equalized Assessed Valuation (EAV) increases in a given tax district since Winnebago County is subject to the Illinois Property Tax...

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Several Rockford districts will not raise property tax levy in 2015

The Illinois Tax Cap law allows taxing districts – the schools, the city, the county, etc. – to collect the same amount of property taxes as they did the previous year, plus inflation up to 5%, even as property values decline, by permitting the districts to raise their tax rates to their statutory limits without referendum. Winnebago County accounts for approximately 7.4% of the total property tax bill, while the city and the school district account for ten times that amount – 73.6% of the total tax bill. The county’s tax levy has...

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Tax Increment Financing – even less effective as property values decrease

Tax Increment Financing is a dubious economic development tool used by Illinois municipalities seeking to increase the assessed value of property within “blighted” areas of the municipality, through public investments, to create new growth and new taxes. Any increase in the assessed value of property within the TIF district over a period of 23 years, which is above an initial base Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) that existed when the TIF was created, is called the Tax Increment EAV. This Tax Increment EAV is multiplied by the current tax rate...

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Honoring Veteran’s Day

Today, we should be proud to honor Veterans Day by pausing to remember the  men and women in uniform who serve this country. They are some of the finest  this nation has to offer. We owe them our Liberty and our Country! Thank a Veteran Today Greater Love Has No One Than This: Than to Lay Down One’s Life For One’s  Friends. John 15:13...

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World internet needed, according to Facebook’s CEO – a right for all?

Many of today’s generation believe everything is an entitlement or a right! According to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, everyone deserves to be connected to the internet as reported in the Associated Press article in the Rockford Register Star. He says since the Web is an essential part of life everyone deserves to be connected, whether they live in Norway, Nicaragua or Namibia. Excerpt: Of course, connecting more people to the Internet is the kind of philanthropy that would create more potential Facebook users, which would also help...

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