County sets priority for law enforcement despite deficits

Two representatives of SAFE – Secure Active Family Environment – Joe Castrogiovanni and Mike Tulley, in a Public Safety Op-ed last Sunday accused the Winnebago County board and administration of diverting $1.1M dollars of the Public Safety Sales Tax – PSST – using the money for purposes other than public safety based on evidence “found” by Sheriff Caruana’s in the first year of his term. The sheriff has also alleged that the county has cut the sheriff’s budget for the past 15 years, yet the sheriff’s budget has increased...

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Municipal budgets should balance services provided with taxpayers’ ability to pay

Winnebago County’s fiscal year budget, which began October 1, 2014, was approved at the county’s last meeting in September. The budget process, however, doesn’t end with budget approval; the process continues throughout the year. The City of Rockford and the Rockford School District will complete their budget process by the end of the year. The county represents approximately 7.4% of property tax bills, while the city represents 22.0% and the school district is 51.6%. As Chairman of the Finance Committee for the Rockford School District, Rock...

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Property tax rate estimated to increase to $14 dollars next year

Two years ago, Rockford’s property tax rate was just over $12 per hundred dollars assessed valuation. Rockford area property owners will be shocked to know the estimated property tax rate for tax code 001 will be just shy of $14 dollars in 2014! Tax code 001 includes Rockford School District, City of Rockford, Winnebago County, Park District, Rock Valley College, Rockford Library, Rockford Township, airport and numerous smaller municipalities. In a previous blog post, it was explained that an unintended consequence of the Illinois Tax...

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Ask not what your government can do for you – there is a limit

The government has no business trying to run entitlement programs such as Obamacare – no business acumen whatsoever. Social Security is going bankrupt. As reported in 2010 in the New York Times, the program was already paying out more money than it had coming in (6 years before it was predicted to happen) with only IOUs in its so-called trust fund. Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund expenditures have exceeded income annually since 2008 and are projected to continue doing so under current law in all future years. It could go bankrupt...

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Harlem school administration recommends deficit spending vs budget cuts

Harlem School district administration is recommending that the board of education exhaust all their education fund cash reserves, plus $1.5M more, instead of any further cuts in spending. Excerpt: Administrators are asking the board to pass a deficit spending plan Monday that puts the education fund — which pays for salaries, benefits and supplies — $1.5 million in the red. That includes spending the remaining $245,000 in education fund reserves. This isn’t the first time that officials have agreed to spend more than the district takes in....

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