Tax loophole allows property taxes to bypass statutory limits.

The Illinois tax cap law allows taxing districts to collect the same amount of property taxes as the previous year, plus inflation up to 5%, even as property values decline, by allowing the districts to raise their tax rates without referendum. This year, the Rockford School District reached state statutory limits for their Education Fund at $4.00, the Special Education Fund at $0.80, the Operation and Maintenance Fund at $0.75 and an additional $0.15 for Working Cash and Fire & Safety Funds. These statutory limits were reached despite...

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Open Meetings Act hinders transparency of elected boards

I used to favor term limits – thought that’s what the Founding Fathers originally intended for the people’s elected representatives – a temporary job, serve a few terms, then return to your former position in the community. Elected office was never intended to be a permanent. However, after observing the bureaucracy that elected officials have to contend with, when bureaucrats are brought into the equation, who have hours a day to think up ways to make the system work for them, to get what they want to do the job, it...

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The OWS protesters, the ant and the grasshopper

The Occupy Wall Street protesters seek government or court intervention, presuming they even know what they are seeking, to force those who have earned a measure of success in their lives to implement this new, 2012 revised edition of the fable – The Ant and the Grasshopper. The ant works hard, in the withering heat, all summer long to build its house and gather food for the winter. The grasshopper pokes fun at the hardworking ant, calling the ant a fool and chooses to dance and play all summer instead, preparing nothing for the winter....

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Court denies most of Obama’s injunction against Alabama’s immigration law

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in Atlanta issued a temporary order Friday allowing Alabama police to detain immigrants that are suspected of being in the country illegally and ruled that the U.S. government was not entitled to an injunction to stop the implementation of other sections of the Alabama immigration law. Voting on a pledge that they would crack down on illegal immigration, Republicans passed the tough immigration bill when they won a supermajority in the Alabama State Legislature in the 2010 elections....

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Catholic Charities forced to discard religious beliefs or state foster care – decision criticized

Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Rockford, Illinois, ceased providing state-funded adoption and foster care services this week after more than 100 years. The diocese decided to terminate its $7.5 million contract with the state of Illinois after policymakers failed to include a religious exemption in the state’s new civil unions law, effective June 1, reports The Heritage Foundation. Under the new state law, Illinois foster care and adoption agencies were going to be forced to place children with unmarried, cohabiting couples...

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