As you can see by the publication date just under our masthead above, today is January 1st, 2020, What it means is the beginning of another year and decade —and more taxes and fees thanks to hundreds of new state laws going into effect. It also means that residents of Decatur and other communities will be paying higher prices for most services and goods because businesses will either have to charge more, or give customers less for the price they have been paying.
As you can read in Jerry Nowicki’s Capitol News Report elsewhere on this page, both residents and businesses will be paying more in taxes and fees (which are the same as more taxes). It will cost you 50% more this year to register your vehicle as the fee increases from $101 to $151. The hardest hit will be our residents because we have to pay higher fees, plus higher costs for goods and services because of businesses increasing their prices to cope with their increase in the cost of operating!
• THE OWNER of a fairly large Central Illinois business was discussing the impact of the minimum wage legislation with me and indicated, in 2020 alone, it will cost his business an additional half million dollars per year! That’s just the first year! It doesn’t fully go into effect until 2025. By 2025 it is not hard to imagine the millions of dollars more per year, the minimum wage law will cost his business. Not only that, he indicated that employees who are already making more than minimum wage have indicated to him, that, if someone is going to start at the new minimum wage, the employees who are already there should be making more than they are being paid!
Bottom line: The cost of goods and services of this man’s business will be passed on to the consumer to make up the difference. Also, consider the impact the legislation has on the small mom and pop business with a few employees. They will either have to reduce hours for their employees or eliminate one position or two.
• WOW! I bought some poinsettias from Svendsen Florist in Decatur and I’ll have to admit, when they were delivered to the newspaper office, they were the biggest and prettiest poinsettia plants I’ve ever seen! Svendsen always does an amazing job, but this year was exceptional. By the way, Svendsen has advertised in every edition of the Tribune since it was founded — every week for over 50 years They’ve been so faithful to advertise with us that I have never increased their ad rate over all of the 50 plus years they’ve advertised. Hillside Bethel, Life Foursquare and Heckman Healthcare are three other advertisers than have been with this newspaper every week for many years. Many thanks to them and all of our advertisers.
• MACON COUNTY Board Member Tim Dudley has resigned from the board, indicating more job responsibilities in his position at the City of Decatur, where he started as the development and revitalization specialist two years ago. Tim served on the county board for 12 years. I’ve known and liked Tim for many years and thank him for his service to Macon County and his long interest in being involved in making the community a better place.
• THE DECATUR City Council met in council chambers at 8:30 Monday morning to approve/disapprove (for the most part) resolutions on annexations. Although a few people have commented to me that meeting at 8:30 in the morning instead of the normal evening time looked “suspicious”, I don’t share that view.
I remember a few times during the years I served as mayor that we had to meet in the morning because of legal deadlines to get something approved — and that was the only time all members of the council had available. One of those times was when we approved John Smith as interim city manager after Steve Garman retired. We were up against a legal deadline to approve a person for the city manager’s position, in order to have someone to sign documents under the council/manager form of government. After the council unofficially selected Smith, we had to make it official at a council meeting, which we did in the early morning meeting within hours of the deadline!
We had one person in the audience, besides John Smith, who showed up to witness the vote — Dave Wilhour. Awww…memories…