The facts should slow down high speed rail

HighspeedrailA few days ago, Moody’s lowered the State of Illinois’ bond rating to the lowest in the country .

Standard and Poor’s has our outlook just one step above another state that has been in defacto control of the Democrats for years – the State of California (No, please don’t tell me Schwarzenegger was anything close to a Republican).  In doing so, Moody’s cited “weak management practices” and a recent legislative session that “took no steps to implement lasting solutions”.

The State of Illinois shares one other commonality with the State of California – a love of High Speed Rail.

All IL businesses need tax break, not just CME and Sears!

CHICAGO – The Chicago Mercantile Exchange Chairman Terry Duffy told a House committee that waiting until after Thanksgiving to make a decision about a tax break for the CME is not an option.

“I will do what I need to do in the best interests of the shareholders of CME Group,” said Duffy, who intends to remain at the state capital in Springfield the rest of this week.

The CME singlehandedly paid 6% of Illinois’ entire corporate tax collections, before the tax rate rose to 7 percent. The Democrats’ dramatic hike in January will cost the CME an additional $50 million a year.

IL Value Voters Straw Poll Is A Win For Newt Gingrich

On Saturday December 3rd, over 50 Illinois conservatives gathered to discuss values, principled leadership and the heart of conservatism at the Illinois Value Voters Forum, moderated by Allen Skillicorn. Conservative Republicans and Tea Partiers discussed the issues of the day with U.S. Congressman Joe Walsh, Policy Expert Bruno Behrend, State Representative Tom Morrison and former State Representative Penny Pullen. Participants also took part in a Presidential straw poll and the results follow:

Newt Gingrich – 48%
Ron Paul – 22%
Rick Santorum – 11%
Michelle Bachman – 11%
Herman Cain – 4%



Ashland School District – saved $378,000 on health insurance;

Kimberly School District – saved $821,000 by dropping WEA Trust Insurance;

Edgerton School District – dropping WEA Trust, expecting to save at least $500,000;

The high price of political payback at McCormick place

Crain’s Chicago Business—The high price of political payback at McCormick place, “Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan cost taxpayers nearly half-a-billion dollars by blocking repeated efforts to restructure McCormick Place bonds and finance a much-needed second hotel at the convention center, a Crain’s investigation finds. Between 2005 and 2010, Mr. Madigan stopped five refinancing bills, ignoring declining interest rates that would have saved hundreds of millions. At the time, he never explained why, but his reasons seem petty and political: McCormick Place CEO Juan Ochoa, an appointee of then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, had fired a Madigan ally at the convention center, and lawmakers from both parties say the speaker wanted retribution.”

Rep Tryon votes YES to Franks Property Tax Freeze bill

From Representative Tryon’s Veto Session release:

House Bill 3793: Limits Property Tax Increases in Declining Housing Markets

Limiting property tax increases during times when housing values are declining is a discussion that needs to occur. The same tax cap laws that protected taxpayers in the years of unprecedented growth and prosperity in this area are now causing property taxes to increase while housing values are going down.

I am very sensitive to the issues faced by taxpayers in this declining economy and believe the taxing laws must be changed to protect taxpayers when their property values are decreasing.

Better education through lower taxes


Coloradans have said no to higher education taxes, voting down Proposition 103 by a two-to-one margin. There was good reason for that decision. Total per-pupil spending in Colorado has more than doubled since 1970, even after accounting for inflation. The same is true at the national level. Over that same period, student achievement at the end of high school has stagnated in math and reading and declined in science. So raising taxes has a long record of educational failure. Surprisingly enough, lowering them actually works.

State bill would cut property tax hikes to 0% in bad times

by Greg Hinz

A northwest suburban legislator has introduced a bill that a lot of property owners are going to like in this time of depressed home values.

But the question is, can it pass?

Under new legislation proposed by state Rep. Jack Franks, taxes could not go up at all — not a penny — in any year in which the gross value of property in a taxing district decreases. The only exception is if voters approve a hike by referendum.

“Home values have plummeted in recent years, but the tax burden on those properties continues to rise,” said Mr. Franks, a McHenry County Democrat. “It is unconscionable that property taxes have increased as more and more homeowners are under water with their mortgages.”

Under current law, taxes can go up by the rate of consumer inflation or 5%, whichever is lower.

Mr. Franks has several co-sponsors, most of them Republicans. I suspect House leadership won’t like the bill.

But in these times, the bill could get quite a head of steam. I can hear the cheers.

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