Illinois taxpayers have had “Enough!”

On Wednesday, June 29, dozens of Illinois newspapers informed the General Assembly and their readers in an op-ed on the front page that the state has had “Enough!” and demanded that the budget standoff be resolved and resolved now. Illinois taxpayers are the ones who should be demanding, “Enough!” with the state currently spending $33 million tax dollars a day more than revenues. The crux of the fiscal crisis is uncontrolled, excessive overspending of any amount of tax revenue received by Springfield. Illinois taxpayers know that they will...

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Rockford’s proposed Property Tax Refund Program could cause tax rates to rise

Initially, the Rockford Homebuyer’s Property Tax Refund Program appears to be a well-intentioned proposal to eliminate some of the blight in the city and to revitalize home values. The program gives property tax refunds for three years to those who build single-family homes, or buy foreclosed or “short-sale” homes as their primary residence, anywhere within the City of Rockford, if the homes are under contract by the end of the year. After the property owners, who purchase a qualifying home, pay their normal property taxes, the city will...

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Winnebago County is an excellent steward of taxpayer dollars

Last Sunday’s Rockford Register Star Opinion Section included a column written by recent county board appointee, David Boomer, describing his first experience/lesson in county government by impugning the financial integrity of Winnebago County officials. Most Winnebago County officials and staff were disappointed, to say the least, to see the county’s financial judgement compared to the reckless spending of Springfield and Washington, D.C., based on a single vote restructuring a portion of the 1% Public Safety Sales Tax (PSST) to help fund...

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TIF approval removes taxpayers from portion of process

About 18 months ago, I posted concerning the Joint Review Board (JRB), consisting of non-elected representatives from specified local taxing districts, convened by the city to determine if newly proposed Rockford Tax Increment Finance (TIF) districts meet the eligibility requirements of municipal state code. The board consists of 9 members, one selected from each – Community College, school district, park district, library district, township, fire protection district, the county, the municipality requesting the TIF, all of which have...

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Assessed property values based on sales not investments

Property values usually track factors that affect housing supply and demand in a local community – good schools, low crime rate, moderate taxes and a highly skilled work force. This combination attracts business to the area initiating economic development, which in turn offers good jobs with low unemployment. Consistent rankings in the top ten worst cities in the nation have placed Rockford on the opposite end of these successful attributes and as a result Rockford property values reflect the disparaging ratings. By next year, Rockford...

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