Saturday, October 25, 2008

Take Some Time Off - Vote!

In the state of Illinois employees are allowed up to two hours paid time off to vote. An employee must apply for leave prior to election day. The employer must permit a two-hour absence from work if the employee’s working hours begin less than two hours after polls open and less than two hours before polls close. (10 Ill. Comp. Stat. Sections 5/7-42 and 10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/17-15)

Uncle Sam's "Household Budget"

Talk About Your Marriage Penalties!

We have a question for the Obamaites:

If "the rich" are now to be those earning over $200,000 per year and we must spread around more of their wealth, then shouldn't the married couple be deemed rich at the $400,000 level?

Where did this $250,000 for a family come from?

Talk about a marriage penalty! It could hold down the incidence of gay marriage.

It simply points out how ridiculous arbitrary tax brackets are and reminds us of their unintended consequences.

By the way, why is it that when the government wants money it's always indexed to inflation (via percentages of income) but the deductions/credits are always based on firm numbers?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Heads Up ! ! ! !

A wind turbine lost one of it's blades the other day in Bureau County.

Weren't we told this was impossibly unlikely?

Monday, October 20, 2008

How are Illinois Property Tax Assessments Determined?

Illinois uses the valuation assessment process to make sure each property owner pays a fair share of the real estate taxes requested by local governmental taxing authorities such as school districts, cities and villages, park districts, library districts, forest preserve districts and counties.

The goal is for each property -- or at least each residential property -- outside Cook County to be assessed at a figure equal to one-third of the price it would actually have brought if it had been sold on the open market during the previous three years. For example, a house that would sell for $300,000 in the real world theoretically should be assessed at a taxable value of $100,000.

Agricultural land is assessed differently, and much lower, based on a complicated formula judging how much it could earn when used for farming. Residential properties in Cook County supposedly are assessed at 16 percent of their market value.

The process of deciding how much each property owner should pay occurs in four steps:

The township - Under state law, township assessors must analyze every piece of property in their townships through a "general reassessment" at least once every four years. The last such quadrennial year was 2007. The next will be 2011. Township assessors may do this complete reexamination more often if they have the resources to do so.

The county - Each county's supervisor of assessments looks at specific pieces of land and compares what they sold for in 2005, 2006 and 2007 to what their township assessor had judged they were worth. If the township figures seem too low or too high, the county assigns a multiplier that is applied to every parcel in that township. The goal is to make sure that homeowners in one township don't pay higher taxes to their school district (for example) than people in the same school district who have similar property but whose property values were set by a different township’s assessor.

The state - Officials at the Illinois Department of Revenue also dive into sales-price ratios during the past three years to make sure each county is in the same ballpark. If discrepancies are found, the state assigns a multiplier to all properties within that county. Again, the object is to keep one county's taxpayers from getting an unfair advantage over another county's.

The tax - In late fall, each local governmental taxing body asks for, or "levies," an amount its board members think they need to operate. This is divided by the total assessed value of all properties served by the government to determine a tax rate. That tax rate then is multiplied by each owner's equalized assessed valuation to figure how much he must pay.

Counties under the state’s PTELL (Property Tax Extension Limitation Law) limit how much a levy can increase from one year to the next, and taxes are collected this year from whomever owned the land last year, based on its estimated sales value over the past three years, divided by three.

Those with eyes to see; Those with ears to hear . . .

Yes. We're back. We've been silent trying to let things play out politically trusting the common sense of the American people.

These are critical times. There is the real possibility now that we will have a leftist president with leftist extreme majorities in the U.S. House and Senate. It may already be too late to stop some of the agendas already being primed and seeded. We think the most disturbing of these are the demise of publicly funded presidential campaigns and the much desired Democrat initiatives to end private voting for unionization drives and the "equal time" laws which are designed to silence "liberal" critics.

Do not lose faith in the face of these trends. Recognize that a Democrat "run" at the national level will engender great disappointment and disillusionment in the Obama maniacs. There is no way the promises can be kept.

One way or another, Americans will eventually face up to their destinies and do what they always have done, which is become more self reliant, industrious, and common sensical.

Let those with eyes to see - see; let those with ears to hear - hear.
All will be well.

This is not a time to hunker down. This is a time to stand up for truth, fact, and common sense. Act locally. Tell your school districts, library districts, county governments, and all other taxing authorities that you will not stand for more spending and more taxing. These folks have been riding on ever increasing property assessments. Those days are finished for several years to come. It's time to pull in the budgets and build reserves - not spend like the past.

We will reinvigorate this site to assist in the effort. We thank you for all of your past support.