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Bankrupt Illinois Slams Citizens With 32% Income Tax Hike, More to Come

July 7, 2017 | Filed Under Anti-Americanism, Bruce Rauner, Budget, Business, Chicago, Cook County, Democrats/Leftists, Earmarks, Economy/Finances, Ethics, Government, Government Corruption, House of Representatives, Illinois, Jobs, Liberals, Michael Madigan, Progressives, Property Taxes, Senate, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on


Bankrupt Illinois Slams Citizens With 32% Income Tax Hike, More to Come

-By Warner Todd Huston

As the state of Illinois edges near becoming the first U.S. state to ever be rated junk bond status, the Democrat-controlled legislature of the bankrupt state of Illinois has just voted to slam its citizens with a hefty 32 percent hike in state income taxes.

After a series of delays as a legislature obviously embarrassed by its own actions dithered, the State House finally approved of the Senate’s override of the governor’s veto with a 71-42 vote burdening the state with a massive tax hike. It was a vote that saw ten of the state’s Republican contingent abandon Republican values and join the Democrats in approval.

Thursday’s vote permanently increases the state’s personal income tax rate from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent. It also raises the burden on businesses raising the rate from 5.9 percent to seven. It all amounts to a 32 percent hike for the average Illinoisan and a $5 billion tax hike overall.

The new tax hike all the more galling because Illinois already has the highest property taxes in the nation, a fact that often forces retirees out of their homes and fleeing to other states. This is also a situation not lost on the state’s African American population, either. Illinois is witnessing a growing number of its African American citizens moving out of the state with Chicago and Cook County residents leaving at the fastest rate.
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Liberal Woman Can’t Understand Why Her Vote Raises Her Taxes

June 5, 2014 | Filed Under Anti-Americanism, Budget, Democrats/Leftists, Economy/Finances, Ethics, Government, Government Corruption, Liberals, Progressives, Property Taxes, Taxes, Texas, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on


Liberal Woman Can’t Understand Why Her Vote Raises Her Taxes

-By Warner Todd Huston

Austin, Texas is the most liberal section of the Lone Star State. It is the state capital and a college town, so you know it is jammed full of half-witted liberals. And if you need a perfect example of that liberal mental disorder the Austin American-Statesman had a great one with an interview with a liberal voter who just couldn’t understand why her vote for every liberal plan on the ballot ended up making her taxes go up every year.

On May 31, the Statesman published a story on how Austiners are looking for ways to stop the city from constantly raising taxes. Within that story was a very stupid woman named Gretchen Gardner who calls herself an “artist.”

Good ol’ self-identified lefty Gretchen said that her tax bill was just killing her and she just couldn’t understand why.

Now, catch this logical disconnect:
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Poll: Even People in Illinois Say Illinois Worst State to Live In

April 25, 2014 | Filed Under Anti-Americanism, Budget, Business, Chicago, Democrats/Leftists, Economy/Finances, Elections, Ethics, GOP, Government, Government Corruption, Government, Ill. County, House of Representatives, Illinois, Illinois State Government, Jobs, Liberals, Nanny State, President, Progressives, Property Taxes, Republicans, Senate, Taxes, Uncategorized, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on


Poll: Even People in Illinois Say Illinois Worst State to Live In

-By Warner Todd Huston

Now, usually when a state is dissed it is dissed by people from outside the state. With the usual hometown bravado, and all, denizens of a state used to stick up for their own in the face of criticism. But a new poll finds that Illinois is so bad, even people that live there say it sucks.

America is a land of polls, for sure, but this poll is a particularly telling one. The Gallup polling firm asked residents of the 50 states (or the 57 states if you are our clueless President) what they thought about their own home states. It turns out that Montanans really love their state. But Illinois and Rhode Island? Not so much.

The top five states where residents are happy to live right where they are living are Montana (77% of residents love the place), Alaska (also 77%), Utah (70%), Wyoming (69%), and Texas (68%).

Further, if you ask everyone the general question of where the best place to live is, Texas wins, followed by Alaska then Hawaii.
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Illinois Ranks as One of Worst States for Losing Citizens

January 22, 2014 | Filed Under Budget, Business, Democrats/Leftists, Economy/Finances, Ethics, Free Trade, Government, Government Corruption, Illinois, Jobs, Liberals, Money, Progressives, Property Taxes, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on


Illinois Ranks as One of Worst States for Losing Citizens

-By Warner Todd Huston

Illinois keeps racking up those plaudits as the worst of the worst states in the country, this time coming in second of the top states for outward migration. Illinois has seen more of its citizens fleeing its failing edifice than every other state but New Jersey.

This list is maintained by one of the nation’s largest moving companies, United Van Lines and is compiled every year as the company tracks the migrations statistics of the nation.

“As the nation’s largest household goods mover, United’s shipment data illustrates national state-to-state migration trends,” Carl Walter, vice president of United Van Lines said in a statement. “We’ve been tracking the number of inbound and outbound domestic moves for nearly 40 years, and through our study are able to identify the states that are attracting or losing residents.”
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Illinois Gun Maker Flees State, Moves to Iowa

September 24, 2013 | Filed Under 2nd Amendment, Budget, Business, Capitalism, Constitution, Democrats/Leftists, Economy/Finances, Government, Ill. County, Guns, Illinois, Illinois State Government, Jobs, Liberals, Progressives, Property Taxes, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on


Illinois Gun Maker Flees State, Moves to Iowa

-By Warner Todd Huston

Liberal Illinois is one of the most inhospitable states for Constitutional rights in America and because of that and other considerations yet another gun manufacturer is closing up shop in the Land of Lincoln and fleeing to a neighboring state.

Lewis Machine & Tool Company–known as LMT–has been in Milan, Illinois since it was founded 33 years ago. The company produces rifles for both the civilian market, the military, and law enforcement agencies.

But now that business owner Karl Lewis wants to expand he is logically moving his company to a better state.

Lewis is headed to Davenport, Iowa.
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AFP Honors Illinois Activists Robert and Tempie Lyons

September 5, 2013 | Filed Under Americans For Prosperity, Conservatives, GOP, Illinois, Property Taxes, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on


AFP Honors Illinois Activists Robert and Tempie Lyons

-By Warner Todd Huston

On Friday night, August 30, during its 7th Annual Defending the American Dream Summit, held this year in Universal Orlando theme park in Orlando, Florida, Americans for Prosperity honored Robert and Tempie Lyons for the hard work of defeating a tax hike in the downstate community of O’Fallon, Illinois, a community just east of St. Louis.

The Lyonses, members of both the Metro East Pachyderm Club, a state Republican organization, and Americans for Prosperity, worked against a property tax hike that would have added several hundred dollars per year to every home in the community.

The pair hosted numerous phone banks in their home and spent weeks calling residents to warn them about the tax hike proposal, urging them to vote against it.

When Election Day arrived, the tax hike went down to defeat by 65 percent.

For their work, the Lyonses were awarded AFP’s “Activists of the Year” award.


AFP-Illinois Director David From at the Podium Lauding the work of Robert and Tempie Lyons

Speaking of their efforts, AFP Illinois Director David From remarked that when the couple was told how outstanding their work was, they both replied that it was just want any good citizen should do. They just wanted to get the job done, From said of the Lyonses.
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Iowa Newspaper Posts, Then Pulls Interactive Map Showing Schools With No Security Officers

April 3, 2013 | Filed Under Budget, Children, Crime, Democrats/Leftists, Education, Ethics, Government, Gun Control, Guns, Iowa, Journalism, Liberals, Media, Media Bias, Newspapers, Progressives, Property Taxes, Security/Safety, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on


Iowa Newspaper Posts, Then Pulls Interactive Map Showing Schools With No Security Officers

-By Warner Todd Huston

The Des Moines Register courted controversy on Wednesday by posting on the Internet an interactive map featuring the locations of Iowa schools that didn’t have security guards. But after a wave of criticism, only hours later the newspaper pulled the map down and reworked it to eliminate the names and addresses of the specific schools. The map was re-launched later that evening.

Initially the map featured flag pins which when clicked would bring up detailed information about the school the flag represented. Each flag had the name of the school, the location of the school and its security situation when known. Red flags were schools with no security guards, green flags were schools with guards, and gray were schools that had not supplied the paper with enough information to delineate whether there were guards or not.

But almost immediately Iowans began to complain, alarmed that the newspaper would set up a map to every school that was totally unprotected. Citizens accused the paper of putting thousands of kids in danger.
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Illinois’ Quinn Gets ‘F’ in U.S. Governors Fiscal Report Card

October 11, 2012 | Filed Under Budget, Business, Capitalism, Chicago, Democrats/Leftists, Economy/Finances, Elections, Free Trade, Government, Illinois, Jobs, Liberals, Pat Quinn, Progressives, Property Taxes, Regulation, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on


Illinois’ Quinn Gets ‘F’ in U.S. Governors Fiscal Report Card

-By Warner Todd Huston

Illinois ranks at the bottom of the nation in nearly every single category of rankings of successful states and now the Land of Lincoln can rack up yet another great failure. Illinois’ Governor, Pat Quinn, has received the grade of “F” in a new “fiscal report card” of the 50 states’ fiscal health.

Congratulations once again, Illinois. Your almost unbroken record of failure goes practically unchallenged. You are pretty much the worst of the worst in all of the country.

Oh, happy days.

So, once again Illinois rates at the bottom of the pile with a governor that gets a well-deserved failing grade. This time joined Quinn is joined at the bottom by four other guvs. Chris Gregoire (Washington State), Neil Abercrombie (Hawaii), Mark Dayton (Minnesota), and Dan Malloy (Connecticut), each received the grade of “F” for their monumental failure as their state’s chief executive.
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A Note About Morrison’s Bid for Cook County Board of Review

October 7, 2011 | Filed Under Budget, Chicago, Cook County Board, Democrats/Leftists, Economy/Finances, Elections, GOP, Government, Illinois, Property Taxes, Republicans, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on


A Note About Morrison’s Bid for Cook County Board of Review

-By Warner Todd Huston

Last cycle this website did not support Mr. Morrison for the first district seat on the Cook County Board of Review. There was a big reason for this. Morrison was a heavy supporter, donor and voter for Democrats prior to suddenly launching his campaign as a Republican.

Morrison gave a lot of money to Democrats, voted as a Democrat, and supported them where he lived in Chicago’s 19th Ward (See Morrison’s campaign donation and voting history here). This made me very, very wary that he was merely a Democrat plant attempting to steal away a GOP seat. It looked like a typical, left-wing, dirty trick that we are so used to seeing from unprincipled Democrats.

Morrison, however, denies he is a Democrat. He says he supported Democrats and voted Democrat in the 19th Ward because there weren’t any viable Republicans in his area to help support his business interests.
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Sean M. Morrison Announces Candidacy for the Cook County Board of Review

October 6, 2011 | Filed Under Cook County Board, Elections, GOP, Illinois, Property Taxes, Republicans, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on


Sean M. Morrison Announces Candidacy for the Cook County Board of Review

From the campaign of Sean M. Morrison for Cook County Board of Review…

Cook County, IL—Fed up with excessive property taxes? Palos Park businessman Sean Morrison is, and today he announced that he intends to seek the Republican nomination for Commissioner of the Cook County Board of Review, 1st District. The 1st District encompasses nearly five-hundred square miles of Cook County and includes over 1.7 million residents.

Morrison ran for Commissioner in 2010. Despite entering the race late, Morrison nearly defeated current Commissioner Dan Patlak. Morrison has decided to seek the office again as Patlak has failed to live up to any of the promises he made during his campaign. Morrison stated “Patlak’s time in office has been much more Democratic than Republican—he is constantly yielding to the Democratic agenda and forgetting about taxpayer concerns.”
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Confirm Your Property Tax Exemptions‏

October 2, 2011 | Filed Under Chicago, Cook County Board, Illinois, Property Taxes, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on


Confirm Your Property Tax Exemptions‏

From the office of Cook County Board of Review Commissioner Dan Patlak…

Within the next week, the Cook County Treasurer will be mailing you the second installment of your 2010 tax bills. The time period to appeal your 2010 assessment at the Assessor’s office or at the Board of Review has already expired. However, you should make sure that this bill includes the Exemptions to which you may be entitled. The most common Exemption is called the Homeowner Exemption. You must have lived in your home as of January 1st 2010 to qualify. To qualify for the Senior Exemption (which must be renewed each year) you must have lived in your home as of January 1, 2010 and you or another owner of the home must have been at least sixty-five years old during 2010. To see if you received these exemptions, look at the right side of the bill a little more than half way down where the exemptions are listed. Then look farther to the right to see what the dollar amount is that corresponds with the respective exemption. If the dollar amount is $0.00 and you think you qualify for the exemption, then you should bring your tax bill to the nearest Assessor’s satellite office located at each of the five Cook County Courthouses (except Maywood which is closed). Bring proof of your residency and age and they will issue you a new tax bill that reflects the discount for the exemption(s).
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Dan Patlak Cook County Board Of Review Summer Update‏

August 12, 2011 | Filed Under Budget, Business, Chicago, Cook County, Cook County Board, Dan Patlak, Democrats/Leftists, GOP, Government, Ill. County, Illinois, Liberals, Property Taxes, Republicans, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on


Dan Patlak Cook County Board Of Review Summer Update‏

Our last update was in April, so I thought it wise to provide you another report on our progress and activities at the Board of Review since that time.

On August 1st the Board of Review concluded its 2010 tax year appeals, finishing two months earlier than last year. We did this despite adjudicating the second highest volume of property index numbers (387,000) in Board history. In addition, the Board had two new staffs of analysts, my own and Commissioner Cabonargi’s who were hired after his appointment in February.

I continue to fulfill my campaign pledge to be a full time commissioner, working every day side by side with my personal staff as well as the other staffs at the Board. In line with our plans for instituting a continuing education program at the Board, forty-two analysts attended a two and a half day class on residential assessments August second through fourth conducted by the Illinois Department of Revenue. Several analysts on my staff plan to take additional classes to receive their Certified Illinois Assessing Officer designation.
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Quinn’s Tax Hikes Chasing Away Chicago Merc?

June 13, 2011 | Filed Under Anti-Americanism, Budget, Business, Capitalism, Chicago, Democrats/Leftists, Economy/Finances, Government, Illinois, Illinois State Government, Jobs, Liberals, Pat Quinn, Property Taxes, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on


Quinn’s Tax Hikes Chasing Away Chicago Merc?

-By Warner Todd Huston

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and his profligate Democrat Party cohorts have been racking up the loss of one business after another since they decided to wildly raise the state’s taxes. Quinn’s and the Democrat’s next target seems to be the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, an ongoing Chicago tradition since 1898.

Chicago has the third highest corporate tax rate in the country and CME’s Chairman, Terence Duffy, and its Chief Financial Officer, James Parisi, say it is a burden with which they don’t think they need to contend.
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Cook County Property Tax Appeal Seminar

April 25, 2011 | Filed Under Budget, Chicago, Cook County, Cook County Board, Economy/Finances, Illinois, Property Taxes, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on


Cook County Property Tax Appeal Seminar

Seminar includes a presentation by Cook County Board of Review Commissioner Dan Patlak followed by an opportunity to file an appeal.

When: Thursday, April 28, 2011 – 6:00 PM

Where: Hanover Township Senior Center 240 South Route 59 Bartlett, IL 60103

Sponsored by:

Cook County Commissioner Timothy O. Schneider
Hanover Township Assessor Thomas S. Smogolski

Please make sure you bring your Property Identification Number (PIN) with you to the forum.

For additional information, please call (312) 603-3644


The Party’s Over‏

March 16, 2011 | Filed Under Alan Caruba, Budget, Democrats/Leftists, Economy/Finances, Government, Property Taxes, Taxes | Comments Off on


The Party’s Over‏

-By Alan Caruba

We all see the world through the prism of where we live. Most of us live in the cities and suburbs. From the early 1940s when my parents moved to the picture postcard town of Maplewood, N.J. that is where I grew up and have spent most of my life.

Maplewood is a quick half hour train trip into downtown Manhattan and is a bedroom community for many executives that work there. It is famous for its many tree lined streets, manicured lawns, and homes, many of which were built starting around the 1920s after the Erie Lackawanna made it a regular stop. Its school system was renowned. It’s still a beautiful town and its village shopping area was the setting for scenes in the film “One True Thing.”

When the property taxes on my home there continued to rise, myself and many other senior citizens who had lived in the township elected to move. My older brother had already set up house in Florida, God’s waiting room, but I elected to move one town over into a swanky new apartment complex, allowing me to make the short drive into the “village” of town every day to purchase sundries and get what, for me, passes for exercise.
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Cook County Board Of Review Progress Report‏

March 4, 2011 | Filed Under Budget, Cook County, Cook County Board, Dan Patlak, GOP, Government, Illinois, Property Taxes, Republicans, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on


Cook County Board Of Review Progress Report‏

From the office of Dan Patlak, Cook County Board of Review…

It has been two months since my swearing in on December 6th and I thought it would be appropriate to reach out to give you a progress report.

Following our victory in November, our first order of business was to assemble a staff that would have as its main focus, serving the needs of the residents of the 1st Board of Review District as well as all residents of Cook County. We have assembled a team capable of serving resident needs by bringing on board individuals with a variety of backgrounds, experience and education. Among our new hires is a former Township Assessor and Board of Review analyst, a certified residential appraiser, two law school graduates, a former County Commissioner, three MBA’s with strong business backgrounds and a CPA. We also have several individuals with strong technology backgrounds. Among our group, we have individuals who are fluent in Spanish, French, German, Greek, Polish, Hindi, Punjabi and Arabic to support the diverse needs of our taxpayer population.

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Senior Tax Exemptions‏

February 26, 2011 | Filed Under Budget, Chicago, Congress, Cook County Board, Democrats/Leftists, GOP, Government, Illinois, Property Taxes, Republicans, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on


Senior Tax Exemptions‏

From the office of Cook County Commissioner Timothy O. Schneider…

Cook County Assessor’s Office News

A new Illinois law requires that seniors re-apply for the Senior Citizen Exemption. The Assessor’s office mailed out nearly 300,000 applications containing both the Senior Citizen and Senior Freeze Exemptions to taxpayers who received a senior exemption last year.

The Senior Citizen Exemption provides tax relief by reducing the equalized assessed valuation of an eligible residence. This savings is in the form of a deduction on the second-installment property tax bill. Seniors receiving the Senior Citizen Exemption automatically qualify for the Homeowner Exemption, and do not have to apply for it separately.

Make sure you pass this information along to any Senior Citizen you know in Cook County. Click here to read more.
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Cook County Property Tax Information‏

February 6, 2011 | Filed Under Budget, Chicago, Cook County Board, GOP, Government, Illinois, Property Taxes, Republicans, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on


Cook County Property Tax Information‏

From the office of Cook County Commissioner Timothy O. Schneider…

2011 Forest Preserve Calendars

Still looking for a 2011 calendar? We have free calendars provided by the Cook County Forest Preserve available at our district office. Call our district office for a calendar (847) 640-1632

Hanover Township Property Tax Reassessments

Hanover township reassessment notices where mailed out on January 10, 2011. Reassessment notices contain proposed values that will be reflected on second-installment tax bills, which will be due in the fall of 2011. However, the time to file appeals on these proposed assessments is now. The deadline to file appeals for properties located in Hanover Township is February 10, 2011.
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Board of Review Opens Six Townships for Appeal

January 10, 2011 | Filed Under Budget, Chicago, Cook County, Cook County Board, Dan Patlak, Government, Illinois, Illinois State Government, Law, Property Rights, Property Taxes, Regulation, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on


Board of Review Opens Six Townships for Appeal

From the Office of Commissioner Dan Patlak…

CHICAGO— The Cook County Board of Review has announced dates for filing assessment appeal complaints for property owners in Barrington, Berwyn, Bremen, Calumet, Lakeview, and Evanston Townships. The filing dates for property assessment appeals begin on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 and will end on Thursday, February 10, 2011.

Property owners may appeal their assessments to the Board if they believe that their assessment is too high. A lawyer is not required to file an appeal on behalf of a residential property owner.

Anyone interested in receiving an assessment appeal complaint form can call the Cook County Board of Review at 312-603-5542. Appeal complaint forms can also be picked up in person at the Board, 118 N. Clark in Chicago or printed from our website at www.CookCountyBoardofReview.com.
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Rahm Says He’s a Chicago Resident, But Filed 2009 Taxes as Non-Resident

December 15, 2010 | Filed Under Budget, Chicago, Cook County, Democrats/Leftists, Elections, Illinois, Illinois State Government, Liberals, Property Taxes, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on


Rahm Says He’s a Chicago Resident, But Filed 2009 Taxes as Non-Resident

-By Warner Todd Huston

Not only did Rahm Emanuel file his 2009 taxes returns as a non-resident of the City of Chicago, but once people began questioning his Chicago residency and biloxing up his run for the Mayor’s office, he quietly went back and amended his taxes to say he was a resident.

If that doesn’t seem like an admission that he wasn’t a real citizen, what is?

According to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times, Emanuel filed his 2009 tax returns as a “part-year resident” of Illinois instead of a full-time resident as he had moved to Washington to take Obama’s offer of becoming his chief of staff.
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I’m a Writer, Not a Financial Planner

December 14, 2010 | Filed Under Budget, Business, Capitalism, Crime, Democrats/Leftists, Economy/Finances, Free Trade, Government, Illinois, Illinois State Government, Liberals, Nancy Salvato, Property Taxes, Taxes | Comments Off on


I’m a Writer, Not a Financial Planner

-By Nancy Salvato

Like many Americans, I searched for a new job in 2010. Although I wasn’t unemployed at the time of my search, I concluded that it was in my best interest to find a job with a company that offered more stability and in which my job skills would continue to be valued. When I was offered a position which fit my criteria, with room to grow, I opted to take it. This meant no longer living near family and friends, which would be hard. Thankfully, they were supportive of my decision and agreed this would be best. There was one other hurdle. I would need to sell my home.

Very quickly we realized the extent of the economic recession in Illinois, as there was no way our house would sell without our owing money. Like many Americans, we had three options. We could default, we could rent and try and ride it out, or we could short sell. Since we had invested a good sized down payment into the house, defaulting or short selling were not our first choices. We decided to rent if we could find a tenant.

Surprisingly, we did find a tenant who would pay us the same amount that would be required of us to rent a home out of state. Though we would have to continue to supplement the cost of our present mortgage because we would not be renting the house for the amount of our mortgage payment, we would not lose money. We could just hold the house until things got better. The Universe seemed to be smiling on us.
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Illinois School Uses ‘Stimulus’ $$ For Raises and Bonuses While Raising Property Taxes

December 10, 2010 | Filed Under Budget, Chicago, Children, Democrats/Leftists, Economy/Finances, Education, Government, Illinois, Illinois State Government, Liberals, Property Taxes, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on


Illinois School Uses ‘Stimulus’ $$ For Raises and Bonuses While Raising Property Taxes

-By Warner Todd Huston

Arrogance is an ugly thing. But it seems that Grayslake School Board Superintendent Ellen Correll has it in spades. Not only did she and four other board members vote to increase its tax levy on the community, but she also announced that she used federal “stimulus” money to dole out raises and bonuses to teachers and administrators.

The school board claims that it needs to raise the tax levy by 8.3 percent because of shortfalls in operating costs. Tax rates are limited on existing properties and is capped by law so due to this the tax hit on older properties would not be as great as 8.3 percent. New properties, however, are not capped.

But in this economy, who can afford property taxes to go up yet again? As school board member Michael Carbone said in his comments, statistics show that in 2009 one in three houses sold in the district were in distress and in 2010 it was 50%.
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County Gov’t Update: Property Tax Info and More

November 21, 2010 | Filed Under Budget, Chicago, Cook County Board, Economy/Finances, GOP, Illinois, Property Taxes, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on


County Gov’t Update: Property Tax Info and More

From the office of Timothy O. Schneider, Cook County Commissioner…

Property Tax Information

Residents should have received their 2009 2nd installment property tax bills last week. The property tax bills are due December 13, 2010. Many people in the Northwest suburbs noticed an increase in their property tax bill this year. The Illinois Department of Revenue set a record high multiplier of 3.3701 to bring assessment in line with the rest of the state, up more than 13 percent from last year. When the General Assembly extended the 7 percent homeowners exemption the amount of the exemption decreased from $26,000 to $20,000.

It is important to remember that Cook County has not raised its property tax levy for 16 years. In addition, please note your property tax bill is now itemized, detailing exactly where your tax dollars are being spent (school district, municipality, township, county, ect.).
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Patlak for Cook County Board of Review: We Are On The Air‏

October 22, 2010 | Filed Under Budget, Cook County, Cook County Board, Democrats/Leftists, Economy/Finances, Elections, Government, Illinois, Illinois State Government, Liberals, Property Taxes, Republicans, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on


Patlak for Cook County Board of Review: We Are On The Air‏

From the Patlak for Cook County Board of Review campaign…

Our campaign to bring professional competence and political balance to the Board of Review is firing on all cylinders. Today we unveil our radio spot which uses a Halloween theme to call out the Chicago Democrat Machine for preventing tax bills from coming out until after the election.

We have distributed our distinctive blue and gold yard signs throughout the district. If you don’t have one yet, click here to order a sign today. We still have large 4×4 signs for placement at heavily trafficked locations. Let us know if you can provide such a location.
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K. Carl Smith, the Conservative Messenger

October 21, 2010 | Filed Under Budget, Civil War, Constitution, Democrats/Leftists, Economy/Finances, Elections, Federalism, Frederick Douglas, Free Trade, GOP, Government, History, Human Rights, Liberals, Property Taxes, Race, Republicans, Slavery, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on


K. Carl Smith, the Conservative Messenger

-By Warner Todd Huston

With phrases like, “reigniting American’s passion for liberty,” and “saving our party will save our country,” what’s not to like?

K Carl Smith, The Conservative Messenger from Wetumpka Tea Party on Vimeo.

You can see Mr. Smith’s website at: http://www.conservativemessenger.org/.

One of his interesting contentions is that the federal government is the modern day slave master. He also contends that Frederick Douglas is the father of the Republican Party.
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Patlak for Cook County Board of Review: Two New Tax Facts Videos Released‏

October 18, 2010 | Filed Under Budget, Cook County Board, Democrats/Leftists, Economy/Finances, Elections, Government, Illinois, Illinois State Government, Liberals, Property Taxes, Republicans, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on


Patlak for Cook County Board of Review: Two New Tax Facts Videos Released‏

From the campaign for Patlak for Cook County Board of Review …

I just released two new Tax Facts videos: What if I did not get an exemption I was entitled to? and How do I file an appeal at the County Assessors Office and the Board Of Review? Let me know if you have any questions about the answers or any other question in our Ask Dan section.

Thank you for your continued support through this campaign. We are down to the last two and a half weeks. Early voting started this past Monday and ends Thursday the 28th. Election day will follow on Tuesday November 2nd. Now is the time to act. Please encourage your friends and neighbors to get out and vote early, reminding them to vote for Dan Patlak on the down ballot race for Cook County Board Of Review. This is one of the most critical races this election season. Unfortunately, many voters stop filling out their ballots before they get to many of the down ballot races. This is where you can make a difference. Every vote counts for the Board Of Review, a board and property tax system that is completely controlled by the Chicago Machine.
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Patlak: A Critical Moment

October 9, 2010 | Filed Under Budget, Chicago, Cook County Board, Elections, GOP, Government, Illinois, Illinois State Government, Property Taxes, Republicans, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on


Patlak: A Critical Moment

From the Patlak for Cook County Board of Review campaign…

As we approach early voting on October 11th and Election Day just 27 days from now, we are pulling out all the stops to secure a victory and win back the 1st District Board of Review seat for the Republican Party. For over a year I have put aside my normal life to pursue this office.

We now find our campaign at a critical moment. We have a winning message and just received the endorsement of the Chicago Tribune but need more funding to get that message out to the half million people who will cast ballots. In order to purchase the minimum amount of media time necessary to be effective, we need to raise $20,000 by Friday October 15th. I am making an urgent request for additional financial help to allow us to bring our message of ethical leadership and political balance on the Board of Review to the people of Cook County. I want to change business as usual at the Board and I need your help. Please join me in this battle by sending your maximum contribution.
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Chicago Tribune Endorses Dan Patlak‏

October 5, 2010 | Filed Under Budget, Business, Chicago, Cook County Board, Economy/Finances, Elections, GOP, Government, Illinois, Illinois State Government, Property Taxes, Republicans, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on


Chicago Tribune Endorses Dan Patlak‏

From the Patlak for Cook County Board of Review…

Today the Chicago Tribune endorsed our candidate Dan Patlak for Commissioner of the Cook County Board of Review. You can read the endorsement below or click here to read it on the Chicago Tribune website.

It would help Dan’s campaign immeasurably if you would forward this e-mail to all of your contacts. Thank you for your support.

From the Chicago Tribune:
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U of Chicago Prof Says His $400,000 Salary Is Taxed Too Much

October 1, 2010 | Filed Under Barack Obama, Budget, Chicago, Congress, Democrats/Leftists, Economy/Finances, Financial Reform, Free Trade, Government, Liberals, Property Taxes, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on


U of Chicago Prof Says His $400,000 Salary Is Taxed Too Much

-By Warner Todd Huston

University professors so often get the reputation of being ivory tower pinheads sheltered from real life and out of touch with reality. Professor Todd Henderson of the University of Chicago sure didn’t help change that perception when he posted a blog post detailing how Obama’s tax hikes will hurt and that his combined family income of $400,000 annually still doesn’t prevent them from struggling to keep up with his bills.

The professor posted some of his family finances in order to show that even though many feel he is “rich” he has bills like everyone else and Obama’s tax hikes coming next year will hurt him badly. Interestingly, Henderson a neighbor of Obama in Chicago’s prestigious Hyde Park neighborhood.

“A quick look at our family budget, which I will gladly share with the White House, will show him that, like many Americans, we are just getting by despite seeming to be rich. We aren’t,” Henderson wrote on the blog post.
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A Case of Influence Peddling by a Dem. Member of the Cook County Board of Review?

September 30, 2010 | Filed Under Chicago, Congress, Cook County, Cook County Board, Crime, Democrats/Leftists, Elections, Government, Illinois, Illinois State Government, Liberals, Property Rights, Property Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on


A Case of Influence Peddling by a Dem. Member of the Cook County Board of Review?

-By Warner Todd Huston

A few weeks ago Chicago Magazine published a story that revealed what sure looks like an influence peddling scandal perpetrated by Democrat Cook County Board of Review member Joseph Berrios. The story is filled with the maddeningly typical Chicago corruption. It also seems to implicate his other two fellow board members, Brendan Houlihan and Larry Rogers, Jr — both Democrats. To date Houlihan has yet to answer to these charges.

The Cook County Board of Review is the office responsible for handling property tax complaints and is responsible for lowering the tax rate if a property merits a reduction. As it happens Berrios, a Board of Review member since 1988, has been rather free with tax reductions for campaign contributors. He also seems to have ignored or skirted multiple rules and regulations by meeting with contributors behind closed doors and illegally filing requests for review. It appears that Berrios initiated a pay to play operation where commercial property owners got reductions in property taxes for campaign contributions to his campaign.

One Berrios associate in particular had some very favorable tax reductions given to him and his clients. Paul Froehlich and a political associate who once worked for Berrios found the Board of Review quite amenable to reductions for several Schaumburg properties the pair represented.

Now a property cannot have its taxes reduced unless at least one other commissioner agrees to the reduction. Meetings arranging the reductions, though, appear to be little else but a rubber stamp affair of the member’s recommendations. It is rare that any of the other two board members ever deny a fellow their recommendation. Again, all three board members are Democrats.

After the Chicago Magazine story at least four property tax reductions were suddenly reversed by the board, reductions that were called into question by the story. Fellow board member Brendan Houlihan, who represents suburban Cook County, attempted to distance himself from the corruption by claiming that he had investigated himself and all was well with the world.

Houlihan claimed that he had conducted an “internal investigation” and his findings had been turned over to the state’s attorney’s office that is investigating the scandal. He refused any further comment because of the ongoing investigation of possible criminal activity.

Houlihan has quite a few questions to answer to and just sitting back and saying “no comment” is not good enough as he presents himself for reelection by the very people he may have helped defraud of tax receipts to help Berrios gain campaign donations.

Here is what Houlihan is accused of doing: The Board of Review frequently goes out among private citizens with seminars and similar events and at these events tax reduction requests are accepted from the general public. The law states that regular homeowners are allowed to file reductions in person but commercial property owners must file via an attorney. The accusation is that Houlihan was allowing the cases from Berrios’s pals to be added illegally to private homeowner cases, all of which were then rubber stamped by the board with the reductions passed on illicitly to Berrios’s commercial property campaign supporters.

Worse, Houlihan claims that he was unaware that Joe Berrios was running one of these citizen outreach seminars right in Houlihan’s own suburban Cook district. It was at this outreach session that Berrios slipped in the commercial cases among the private citizen’s requests.

There are several vexing questions that Houlihan has yet to answer to in this scandal. Chief of which is what did Houlihan know and when did he know it?

  • Was Houlihan personally aware that these commercial cases were slipped in with the private homeowner’s tax reduction requests?
  • If Commissioner Houlihan wasn’t aware of it is one of his staffers complicit with the illegal activity?
  • Did Houlihan review and approve of the tax reductions for Berrios’s pals?
  • If not, isn’t that a dereliction of his duty as a board member?
  • Why did Houlihan not even know what was going on in his own district?

There also seem to have been three closed-door hearings by the Board of Review on this whole scandal. Despite that these violations occurred in Houlihan’s very own district transcripts show that he asked no questions during the hearings. In fact, he failed to even attend one of them.

Just what the heck does Brendan Houlihan do in his elected position on the Cook County Board of Review? He skips meetings, refuses to ask questions about a scandal perpetrated in his own district, rubber stamps illegal tax reductions, and then won’t answer to the voters for his lack of alacrity for doing his job.

I called Houlihan’s office and was granted a meeting… at first. The next day, via email, spokesman Mark Volpe told me that meeting was canceled. After a follow up phone call I was told that Houlihan had no comment on the matter.

Clearly Houlihan doesn’t feel he has to answer to the voters of suburban Cook County. Will they return him to office in November?
____________
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, BigHollywood.com, and BigJournalism.com, as well as RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, AmericanDaily.com, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.

For a full bio, please CLICK HERE.

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