Push To Make Temporary Tax 'Permanent' Is No Surprise
No one should be surprised there is a push from Gov. Pat Quinn, and other political leaders, to make the “temporary” income tax increase “permanent” -- or we are all doomed. If you actually believed the tax would be “temporary” when it was enacted, there is a bridge in Brooklyn I would like to sell you. “Temporary” is the word politicians use to put a tax in a position to be “permanent”. A “temporary tax” is usually meant to be used to help government dig out from under the debt it owes. As witnessed countless times, a temporary tax never seems to help government handle its financial problems, but encourages it to spend even more. Now underway is the scare tactic about how many people and services will be eliminated in the state if the “temporary tax” is allowed to expire. ‘TEMPORARY’: Back in 2002, the City of Decatur, was facing financial problems. So, several taxes were increased to “temporarily” get the city over the hump, with the intention, according to a couple of council members at the time, to have a sunset on those taxes. Those tax increases (food & beverage, utility, etc.) are still in effect 12 years later and it would do a lot of harm to repeal them. I think the big difference between the City of Decatur and the State of Illinois on this issue is that cuts have been made to put the City in better financial shape in the face of the community having one of the worse unemployment rates in Illinois -- while the State of Illinois makes minor cuts and continues to spend without much thought of making needed necessary budget changes. The next time a “temporary tax” is proposed, rest assured that, once government gets its mitts on more of your money it is a permanent arrangement -- regardless of what it is called. No wonder citizens do not trust most of those they elect to represent them -- and that less than 16% of the registered voters in Macon County even bothered to show up and vote in last month’s primary election.
Candidates' First Quarter Filing
Totals Are Complete And Show
Some Hefty Fund Balances...(A Few Not So Hefty)
I checked out filings with the Illinois State Board of Elections and the Federal Election Commission involving the candidates that are running in the two Illinois House Districts that include Decatur, the two State Senate Districts that represent our community and the race in the 13th Congressional District which includes Decatur. Here’s what I found: State Representative candidates have filed their D-2 Quarterly Reports for period between 1/1/2014 to 3/31/2014. In the 96th District incumbent Rep. Sue Scherer (D-Decatur) had total receipts of $94,625.00 for the period and $11,806.25 in In-Kind contributions. Scherer reported $58,085.73 in funds available at the beginning of the quarter and, $65.917.95 in funds available on March 31. Scherer’s challenger Mike Bell (R-Edinburg) reported $6,730.00 in receipts for the quarter but funds available at the end of the period totalled only $5.23. In the 101st District, Rep. Bill Mitchell’s committee, Citizens for Bill Mitchell, filed a D-2 which shows $124,440.41 available at the close of the reporting period, March 31. Mitchell had total receipts of $8,850.00 during the period. Mitchell does not have an opponent in his race.
STATE SENATE: State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) had $404,042.19 available in his campaign March 31, after total receipts of $75,598.09 were reported by Friends of Andy Manar. His opponent in the 48th District race, Linda Little (R-Decatur) reported total receipts of $4,985.00, as her campaign committee. She also reported a fund balance of $4,032.99 on March 31. Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) in the 51st State Senate District doesn’t have an opponent in his race. Rose reported total receipts of $16,190.00 during the quarter and a fund balance of $43,426.47 at the end of the quarter.
13TH DISTRICT: Of course, the total amount of the money that is being raised in the 13th Congressional District race between incumbent Republican Rodney Davis and former judge Democrat Ann Callis is being watched carefully. Ann Callis for Congress filed its Quarterly Report Tuesday and showed a balance of $513.897.76, after raising $188,804.28 during the quarter. Callis has raised over a million dollars (1.016,378.94) in this election cycle. U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (Rodney For Congress) had a cash balance of $951,903.00 at the end of the quarter, after raising $285,558.00 during the period. Davis has raised over two million dollars ($2,059,953) during this campaign season.
Another Reason We Are Losing
Out To Neighboring States
If you want to know why people and businesses are moving out of Illinois to neighboring states, the story about Tax Freedom Day on the front page of this week’s print edition of the Decatur Tribune will answer your question. According to the article, the non-partisan Tax Foundation in Washington, DC, just released its annual calculations for its Tax Freedom Day (TFD), and the news is not good. Tax Freedom Day is the day when US taxpayers have earned enough money to pay their total tax bill for the year. After that day, the money is the taxpayers’ to keep. Taxes at all levels of government are included, whether levied by the federal government or state and local governments. Tax Freedom Day for US taxpayers this year is April 21, three days later than last year. Taxpayers have three fewer days of their money to keep. According to the article, Illinois’ high tax rates place it at a distinct disadvantage with respect to adjacent states. Of the states surrounding Illinois, every state has a lower tax burden. Decatur is in Illinois (I know you are aware of that) and people who live in our state are being taxed to death! Until April 28th, all the money we’ve made so far this year goes just to pay our taxes! Illinois is the 7th highest tax state and our neighboring states are way down on the list. As the article indicates Wisconsin is 13th highest, Iowa is 32nd highest, Indiana is 24th highest, Missouri is 36th highest and Kentucky is 44th highest. Any questions?
AMERICAN-MADE: HB3861, also known as the American-Made Car Bill passed the Illinois House 73-36 on April 10th and will be voted on by the senate later this month. The bill puts restrictions on the type of vehicles that can be purchased by state agencies such as government workers and police. That’s a big problem for Miles Chevrolet in Decatur because the Chevrolet Impala, which is extremely popular with police departments and other law enforcement agencies, are assembled in Canada, although a lot of the parts are made in the U.S. Rep. Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) voted against the bill and Rep. Sue Scherer (D-Decatur) voted for it. Miles Chevrolet employs 177 people and sells up to 2,000 police cars a year. If this bill passes the senate, there is no doubt it will have a huge impact on the employees of Miles Chevrolet -- and on our community. If the dealership can no longer sell 2000 cars a year to state agencies, you don’t have to be a financial wizard to know what that does to many of the well-paying jobs at Miles Chevrolet. With Chevrolet out of the picture, it will also mean less competitive bidding for the vehicles needed, plus the elimination of cars favored by police officers. Guess who picks up the tab for that? Decatur has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state, and I guess they won’t be satisfied until we again have THE highest unemployment rate -- while politicians babble on about our area needing jobs. I certainly buy American-made every opportunity I get and, more than that, I buy from Decatur businesses, whenever it is possible. However, I also realize that we live in a global marketplace and, if we are going to continue to tap into the world market, we have to recognize how many jobs are created by building the parts needed to build those products that are shipped to other countries. It is not a one-way street any longer.
CARP CHATTER: I’ve had some inquiries about the carp screen failure at the Lake Decatur Dam and if the screen floated on down the Sangamon River. Keith Alexander, Director of Water Management, recently briefed the Decatur City Council on the fish screen failure and schedule. If you are interested in the facts on what happened and what will happen, I printed Alexander’s report to the council in this week's print edition (page 31). You can also check it out here.
Listen to the “City Hall Insider” hour with Paul Osborne on Byers & Co. at 7:00 every Thursday morning over NEWS/TALK 1340 WSOY.
Decatur Park District Boat Slips Available
The Decatur Park District has boat slips available for the 2014 season. The docks have accessible walkways, electricity, and potable water. A ladder system will be put in place if lake water levels become an issue this summer. Rental fee is $795 per slip. Call 422-5911 for details.
Go Fly A Kite April 26, 27
Fly a kite and celebrate Earth Day during the Decatur Park District’s Kite Festival. On April 26 & 27 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Sinawik Park, professional flyers from across the Midwest will amaze the crowd with stunt kites, dancing kites, and fighting kites. Families may bring a kite, make a kite, or purchase kites onsite from the Kite Harbor booth. Family-friendly activities will be offered throughout the day including a Big Kite Candy Drop (weather permitting). Concessions will be available for purchase. For more information, call 422-5911.
Long Creek Community Rummage Sales May 2, 3
Long Creek Community area wide rummage sales will be held Friday and Saturday, May 2 and 3 from 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Early Bird Kiwanis Club And Boy Scout Troop 202 To Hold Fundraiser Breakfast April 26
A flapjack fundraiser breakfast to support Boy Scout Troop 202 and the Early Bird Kiwanis Club community service projects will be held at Applebee's Restaurant in Forsyth on Saturday, April 26 from 8:00-10:00 a.m. Breakfast will include pancakes, bacon and beverage for $5. For tickets, call scouts - 429-4103 or Kiwanis 423-0543 or 615-0265.
Maroa-Forsyth Schools Band Department To Host Annual Jazz Café April 26
The Maroa-Forsyth Schools band department is hosting its Annual Jazz Café on Satur-day April 26th from 2-5pm at the Maroa-Forsyth High School Cafetorium.
Admission is free for the fun and entertaining fundraiser which supports the band department’s students in grades 5-12. Currently the students are raising funds for new drum cases as well as equipment for starting a flag corps team to supplement the marching band. Musical entertainment will be provided by Maroa-Forsyth students and a special guest jazz combo. Throughout the afternoon, over 100 raffles will take place with the mega prizes including an Xbox One and Beats Earbuds. You must be present to win raffles. Food and beverages available for purchase including Papa Murphy’s Pizza and large variety of desserts. All raffle and food/drink tickets are $1.
Blessing Of The Animals At Christ United Methodist Church April 19
Blessing of the animals will be held on Saturday, April 19, 10 AM, at Christ United Methodist Church, 1503 N. Summit, Decatur. Go to the north side of the church near the pavilion. All animals must be held or on a leash; they will be blessed individually by Pastor Kelly Cox. Owners will receive a copy of “The Ten Commandments for Pet Owners.”
Spring Break Day Camp At The DISC April 18, 21
When school’s not in session, go to the DISC for the Decatur Park District’s Spring Break Day Camp. Youth aged 5 – 13 will enjoy arts and crafts, basketball, volleyball, soccer, and special planned activities or field trips every day. Activities will take place from 6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. on April 18 & 21. Daily fee is $37 ($32 with resident discount) with a 15 percent discount for each additional sibling. Lunch is provided on April 21; bring a sack lunch on April 18. Call the DISC at 429-3472 or register online at decatur-parks.org.
Earth Day To Be Celebrated At Recycling Center April 25, 26
Earth Day is being celebrated Friday, April 25 and Saturday, April 26, by the Community Recycling Center. The hours will be 8:00 a.m. to noon on Friday and 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the 26th. The center is located downtown at 130 W. Cerro Gordo, Decatur. Stop by with aluminum cans to recycle and take advantage of a 50 cents per pound price. The Community Recycling Center, operated by volunteers, benefits all the programs at Dove, Inc. The center regular business hours: Thursday afternoons, noon to 5:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to noon.
Hopeful Heart Ministries' Big Green Bus Food Pantry To Be At Parkway Church Of The Nazarene
Hopeful Heart Ministries' Big Green Bus food pantry will be at Parkway Church of the Nazarene, 2710 E. Faries Parkway, Decatur, on Saturday, April 19 from 12:30-2:00 p.m. Only one visit per month and identification is required. For additional information call 520-9840.
Friends Of Stephen
M. Grimm To Host Fundraiser April 24
Friends of Stephen M Grimm will host a fundraiser at the Winery, 1099 West Main Street, Decatur, on Thursday, April 24 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. A $25 donation is suggested.
Spring Has Arrived At Schaub Floral Display Center’s Fragrance And
Spring has arrived at the Decatur Park District’s Schaub Floral Display Center! The Fragrance and Foliage Showcase will run April 25 – May 23 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. daily. The beautiful display features tropical plants, annuals, torenia, impatiens, and several types of begonias. Free and open to the public. The Schaub Floral Display Center is located at Sportsman’s Park, 3415 Lost Bridge Rd. For more information, call 421-7550.
Secretary Of State Unveils
Secretary of State Jesse White unveiled a new ad campaign showing how all Illinoisans can become heroes by joining the state's Organ/Tissue Donor Registry. April is National Donate Life Month. White will attend events throughout Illinois to encourage donation and awareness throughout the month. Television and radio ads will air in English and Spanish statewide. Illinoisans can register with the Secretary of State Organ/Tissue Donor Program at LIfeGoesOn.com, 1-800-210-2106 or by visiting their local driver services facility.
The Garden Club Of Decatur To Hold Annual Plant Sale May 3
The Garden Club of Decatur will hold its annual Plant Sale on Saturday, May 3, 2013 at Prairie Avenue Christian Church, 2201 E. Prairie Ave, Decatur. The sale is 8:30-10:30 a.m. and will offer perennial and annual flowers, cactus, hanging baskets and annual flats. There will also be plants from our members' gardens which are reasonably priced. Visit the website at: www.gardenclubofdecatur.com
Gallery 510 To Host National Juried Art Show In October
Gallery 510 will host the National Juried Art Show at Madden Arts Center in October. The show is open to all mediums. There are two categories: general and cancer awareness. There will be $750 in awards given. Deadline for entries will be July 7. For prospectus, send S.A.S.E. to Gallery 510, 160 E. Main St., Decatur, IL 62523; pick one up at Gallery 510 or Madden Arts Center in Decatur; or email firstname.lastname@example.org for digital copy.
The Salvation Army’s Senior Trip To Wrigley Field Is May 2
The Salvation Army's senior trip to Wrigley Field to see the Cubs vs. Cardinals will be Friday, May 2. Departure time will be 9:00 a.m. at The Salvation Army, 229 West Main. Attendees must be 50 years or older. The cost will be$60 (payable at sign-up) and includes game ticket and bus ticket. Attendees will be responsible for their dinner at Coyote Canyon. For additional information, call 428-4672.
Easter Seals Offers Parents Night Out Respite Program
Easter Seals Central Illinois offers a Parents Night Out Respite Program several times per month. Parents register and bring their children with developmental disabilities and their siblings from ages 1 through 13 years for an inclusive experience of social activities, field trips, and entertainmen For more information call Lori Brown at 429-1052, ext. 111 or visit www.ci.easterseals.com.
Easter Seals Parents Night Out Respite Program Available
Easter Seals Central Illinois offers a Parents Night Out Respite Program several times per month. Parents register and bring their children with developmental disabilities and their siblings from ages 1 through 13 years for an inclusive experience of fun, social activities, field trips, and entertainment. For more information call Lori Brown at 429-1052, ext. 111 or visit www.ci.easterseals.com.
SDHS Class Of 1964 To Hold 50th Reunion June 20, 2014
The Stephen Decatur High School Class of 1964 will hold its 50th reunion Friday June 20, 2014, at the Wharf and Saturday June 21, 2014 at the Beach House Those who want more details should contact Jeanette Curry Woolley email@example.com or Donna Ambroise Reinhardt (217) 422-9334 firstname.lastname@example.org
Lakeview High School Class Of 1964 50th Reunion Being Planned
Lakeview High School’s class of 1964 is planning its 50th reunion, and it will be held during the summer of 2014 in Decatur. The Green and White - Reunite committee needs to update its alumni list in order to inform all classmates about the plans. Send your name (including maiden name) address, city, state, zip, email, Facebook, and phone numbers to CLASS ROSTER, in care of Ken Kimberly, 210 Robinhood Rd., Covington, LA, 70433-4761; email: email@example.com or Facebook “Ken Kimberly”.
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