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Archive → November 16th, 2017

Two more chances to sign up for Homer 33C’s FREE community tech classes Courses open to all Homer 33C residents

News Release

Homer CCSD 33C

Goodings Grove   Luther J. Schilling   William E. Young   William J. Butler

Hadley Middle   Homer Jr. High

 

Contact: Charla Brautigam, Communications/Public Relations Manager

cbrautigam@homerschools.org | 708-226-7628

 

For Immediate Release:

Nov. 16, 2017

 

Two more chances to sign up for Homer 33C’s FREE community tech classes

Courses open to all Homer 33C residents

 

   Unsure how to protect your privacy on Facebook or use Twitter to stay up to date on your favorite people or subjects?

 

Then sign up for Homer School District 33C’s FREE community courses for parents and community members.

 

Only two classes remain in this year’s course offerings:

 

Staying Safe on Facebook6 p.m. Nov. 29, Hadley Middle School Library

Learn how to better protect your privacy and stop oversharing on Facebook, the leading communication tool for friends and family.

 

Twitter & Digital Citizenship6 p.m. Nov. 30, Hadley Middle School Library

Learn how to engage in the online world ethically and safely while staying up to date on your favorite subjects or people with the fastest social media platform out there.

 

Courses are open to all Homer 33C residents on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

Register today at:  https://goo.gl/forms/umolccLrG9x8uorL2

 

For more information, call 708-226-7600.

 

Like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/homer33c?fref=ts&ref=br_tf

Source: Will County News

Steve Weber Tax tips for Farmers

Farmers Weekly

Tax tips for Farmers

Let’s talk about the details behind the tax reform legislation. All they talk about is whether it will pass or not. We want the details. I am pulling this information from the Journal of Accountancy that I scan when I put down Field and Stream. The House Ways and Means Committee released a draft of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, H.R.1. This tax reform bill will cut federal revenue by up to $1.5 trillion over 10 years and require only 51 votes in the senate for passage.

Individuals will benefit from the four new tax rates: 12%, 25%, 35%, and 39.6%, effective for tax years after 2017. The 25% tax bracket would start at $45,000 of taxable income for single taxpayers and $90,000 for married filing jointly. The 35% tax bracket would start at $200,000 for single and $260,000 for MFJ. The 39.6% would apply to taxable income over $500,000 for single and $1 million for MFJ. The standard deduction would increase from $6,350 to $12,200 for single and move from $12,700 to $24,000 for MFJ. Single filers with at least one qualifying child will get an $18,300 standard deduction. Most deductions will be repealed, including the medical, alimony, casualty loss, and tax preparation fees. Mortgage interest deductions on existing mortgages would remain the same. For new mortgages (after 11/2/17), the limit would be reduced to $500,000 from the current $1.1 million. The overall limit of itemized deductions would also be repealed. The current limit of 50% of charity would bump up to 60%. The state and local income tax deduction would go away. The child tax credit would increase from $1,000 to $1,600, with the first $1,000 of the credit refundable. The college credits will be rolled into one credit, providing a 100% tax credit on the first $2,000 of higher education expenses and 25% credit on the next $2,000. Alternative minimum tax (AMT) will go away, thank goodness.

Estates tax would be repealed after 2023, another great idea. In the meantime the exclusion amount will double (currently at $5,490,000, indexed for inflation). Don’t ask how they came up with that number. The top gift tax rate will be lowered to 35%, that’s very giving of them. S Corporations or pass through entities would be taxed at a maximum rate of 25% instead of the ordinary individual income tax rates. Pay attention to this one on section 179 limits. The bill will provide 100% expensing of qualified property placed in service after 9/27/17 and before 1/1/23.  It would also increase tenfold the Sec. 179 expensing limitation ceiling and phaseout threshold to $5 million and $20 million, respectively.

In these heavy tax times and families living paycheck to paycheck, we can use a break.  I hope our leaders can grasp the impact this will have on our economy and get behind it. I am pretty excited and will push my leaders to support it. Thanks and happy Thanksgiving.

 

 

 

Steve Weber, CPA

Source: Will County News

University of Illinois’ new budget request includes almost $70 million for raises

Steve Balich Editors nopte: I guess taxpayers can pay a little more. Why not ? does it matter how much Education costs to these so called educators?

University of Illinois’ new budget request includes almost $70 million for raises

FILE - University of Illinios
Foellinger Auditorium at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign campus.

Shutterstock photo

ILLINOIS NEWS NETWORK

The University of Illinois’ latest request from taxpayers is almost $100 million more than last year, with most of the money earmarked for raises.

The university calls it a commitment to “strengthen academic quality.”

University leaders want to ask lawmakers for $98 million dollars more next year, so they can spend almost $70 million on raises. This year’s request is for $680 million compared to the $582 million requested last year.

Professors would get a lot of the new money, but not all of it, according to university spokesman Tom Hardy.

“Some of this has been identified as resources that can help us recruit and retain world class faculty members,” Hardy said. “But also it would support salary programs for other employees as well.”

Hardy says the U of I couldn’t offer raises two years ago, and has offered only 3 percent raises since.

Hardy says the school pays attention to the cost that students pay, but says without raises the U of I won’t be competitive for faculty and staff.

“The university is very sensitive to those issues about affordability and accessibility,” Hardy said. “Because one of the things that a lot of prospective students bring up as to why they didn’t attend the University of Illinois, is that high cost.”

Much of the explosion in the cost of a university degree in Illinois isn’t because of the costs in the classrooms. An Illinois Senate report in 2015 tracked the skyrocketing expansion of administrative costs at Illinois’ public universities.

Between 2005 and 2015, student enrollment at Illinois universities fell almost 3 percent, the cost for professors and faculty members increased by 2 percent, and the cost for university administrators jumped by over 26 percent.

During about the same time, more and more Illinois students left the state to attend college elsewhere because they could pay the same or less for a degree at the University of Missouri, the University of Wisconsin, Indiana University, and the University of Iowa than at the U of I.

The Illinois State Board of Higher Education said in 2014, a then all time high of 33,700 students, left Illinois to go to college somewhere else.

Hardy is quick to say however, that enrollment at the University of Illinois has held steady over the years. Other Illinois public universities have seen dramatic declines in their enrollment numbers.

Hardy said that the new U of I’s budget already includes about $60 million to help lure top-flight faculty members to the school. This new request, however, is outside of a $3 billion private fundraising goal that could also help boost pay for some university professors and researchers.

Source: Will County News

Despite outflow of high earners, Dem gov. candidates push progressive tax

Despite outflow of high earners, Dem gov. candidates push progressive tax

Pritzker for progressive income tax

Billionaire Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker has a campaign ad touting the supposed unfairness of Illinois’ current flat tax.

Image from J.B. Pritzker’s YouTube channel

ILLINOIS NEWS NETWORK

With an entire year until the 2018 election for Illinois governor, instituting a progressive tax is already emerging as a battleground topic in the race.

In one of his newest campaign ads, Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker highlights the benefits of taxing people who make more at a higher rate than those who don’t.

“As governor, I’ll fight to pass a progressive income tax,” he says in the ad. “It will make the wealthy pay more, support priorities like education, and reduce the tax burden on middle-class families.”

Pritzker’s Democrat challengers also have spoken out in favor of a progressive tax, also known as a graduated income tax.

Gov. Bruce Rauner opposes a progressive tax, calling it the last straw for overtaxed Illinoisans.

“Many more will leave that have already been leaving,” he said at an appearance in 2016. “There’s been an argument that says, ‘Let’s get higher income people to pay and then middle income people might not have to pay more.’ That’s baloney.”

His Republican challenger, state Rep. Jeanne Ives, also opposes a progressive tax.

To change from a flat tax to a progressive one, voters first must vote to amend the state’s constitution to allow it.

Battles over the progressive tax aren’t new. It was called a “Fair Tax” in 2014 when it failed.

House Speaker Michael Madigan tried, in vain, to place a surcharge on income over $1 million in the spring of 2016. Another Democrat leader filed a bill months later to institute a progressive tax that ultimately failed as well.

According to Census data, the average pay of the 114,000 people leaving Illinois for other states in 2016 was nearly $80,000. The group of people leaving Illinois in droves include millionaires, who along with other higher-end earners would most be impacted by a progressive tax. According to research firm New World Wealth, about 3,000 Chicago millionaires left the state in 2015. Chicago was the only U.S. city to see such a large number of millionaires leave for other U.S. states.

A March WalletHub report on overall tax burden put Illinois as the costliest in the nation. It said the state’s residents pay more than $8,000 annually in state and local taxes.

Analysts with the nonpartisan Tax Foundation called Illinois’ flat tax as “its saving grace” in terms of policies that attracted or repelled businesses.

In its annual “Tax Freedom Day” report, the foundation determines the day of the year when the residents of each state have worked enough to pay off their tax burden. Analyst Nicole Kaeding said that Illinois’ Tax Freedom Day, which is already seven days behind the nation average, would fall even later if the state instituted a progressive income tax.

Source: Will County News

Let’s Go Illinoisans! Send Jeanne Ives to the Governor’s Mansion

Let’s Go Illinoisans! Send Jeanne Ives to the Governor’s Mansion
Written by Laurie Higgins

With the country riven by unbridgeable ideological divisions and all manner of corruption, we here in one of the sorriest-run, most corrupt states have a breath of fresh air in gubernatorial candidate State Representative Jeanne Ives.
Conservatives of all stripes have a candidate in Ives who unapologetically embraces the entire Republican platform and does so with courage, wisdom, grace, and integrity. Ives is a smart, well-informed, tireless straight shooter. Illinoisans must not pass up this opportunity to elect a candidate of this caliber.
Rep. Ives demonstrated her passionate commitment to fiscal sanity in this stem-winder of a statement made on the Illinois House floor in which she urged a “no” vote on the disastrous budget proposal. Watch it and see if you can remain seated by the end. I call it “Mrs. Ives Goes to Springfield”:
What Illinoisans need to do NOW is either find and sign a petition to get Rep. Ives on the ballot, download some petitions and gather signatures, or both.
Take ACTION:  Jeanne Ives needs petition signatures nowDownload a petition here, and gather signatures.  If every IFI subscriber gets a mere 15 signatures, she would have more than enough to get on the ballot.  Please send all notarized petitions to this address by November 20th:
Ives for Illinois
P.O. Box 1504
Wheaton, IL 60187
Background
Here’s what Illinoisans should know about Ives:
Ives graduated in the West Point Class of 1987 with a Bachelor of Science in Economics. She went on to serve in the U.S. Army. Her assignments included platoon leader and headquarters detachment commander for transportation units in Germany and ROTC instructor at Wheaton College.
She resigned from the Army in 1993 to raise her children and at the same time worked as a tax advisor and bookkeeper for small businesses and individuals.
Prior to her election to the Illinois House, Ives served on the Wheaton City Council….
In her first term, Ives…focused on bringing about true pension and tax reform in the state, pursuing term limits for lawmakers, government transparency, and advocating for school choice.
[Ives]…sits on the House Appropriations Committee for Elementary & Secondary Education, House Labor Committee, House Committee on Cities and Villages, House Committee on Mass Transit and House Committee on International Trade and Commerce.
[She] has lived in Wheaton for 20 years with her husband, Paul (also a USMA Class of 1987 graduate), and their 5 children. She is a parent volunteer at her children’s schools and has been coaching the St. Michael Boys and Girls Championship Cross Country teams for 7 years.
Ives’ pro-life commitment is unwavering and poignantly illustrated in a must-read essay appearing two years ago in the Chicago Tribune about the tragic death of one of her babies who had been diagnosed with a terminal genetic abnormality during the fourth month of Ives’ pregnancy and died 45 minutes after his birth. Here is an excerpt from that essay:
[O]ur high-risk pregnancy doctor strongly suggested we abort the baby. In our conversation, the doctor spoke as if that were the obvious, most reasonable option. The thought of aborting Mark entered my mind for a few brief moments. How convenient, no one needs to think about this anymore, no increased medical expenses, no carrying the baby for 20 more weeks, no painful choice on how to respond to cheerful comments about my impending birth. The problem would just go away, and I could get back to caring for our other four boys.
But those moments passed quickly. I knew the decision to end Mark’s life was neither mine nor my husband’s to make….
The next four months I cried every day with a kind of grief I had never experienced. Our baby boy was alive inside me, kicking and rolling, and on the day we would welcome Mark to the world, he would die in my arms. I was not only grief-stricken, I was also scared. I was terrified to face the death of my own child.
Mark was born on April 28, 2002. He died 45 minutes after birth. After his birth, my doctor baptized him and nurses lovingly took baby pictures, dressed him, gave him a teddy bear, took footprints, and treated him with the dignity he deserved as a human being created in the image and likeness of God. He was just over 3 pounds and had a nose like my father’s.
Don’t let defeatists, naysayers, or those purported Republicans who reject big chunks of the Republic platform infect you.
Instead, thank God for Jeanne Ives, and then work your tails off for her!
More ACTION:  Volunteer to help the campaign. Talk to family members, friends, and neighbors about Rep. Ives and the importance of her election. And donate to her campaign HERE. Even small donations help enormously.
Click HERE to listen to this article read by Laurie.

Source: Will County News