Category → Political Philosophy
From Illinois Review
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
Balich: Republicans Are United … Against Jeb Bush
When it comes to presidential politics, Republican and Republican-leaning Independents seem to be split on where they want to lend their support. While Trump has the largest percentage of support, his is nowhere near a majority, and it is slipping. If anything, support has been more evenly spread among the other candidates since the last debate.
We are more divided than ever. Or are we? If there is one thing that unites us, it is the fact that the base of the party doesn’t want Jeb Bush to be the nominee.
Both statistical and anecdotal evidence show this. Statistically, Jeb Bush is in a freefall. Poll after poll shows him in major decline. The latest Pew Poll puts him at 4 percent and in 6th place. And that’s with all the advantage of the party establishment, money, and name I.D.
The theory was that with more exposure and the race heating up Jeb would rise to the top. But the exact opposite has happened. As recently as July, the Real Clear Politics’ poll average had Bush firmly in first place at 17%. As the public has gotten to know him more, his numbers have fallen.
The anecdotal evidence is even more compelling. Try this a home. Ask your soft Republican and/or Independent friends what they think of Jeb Bush for president. You will invariably get the same reaction – an eye roll. It’s not even a “no.” It’s an eye roll. That doesn’t work well in a primary.
But what does that mean for the General Election? Not good things. In fact, you can ask your Independent and soft Democratic friends about Hillary Clinton. It’s a similar reaction. The vast middle of the country does not want a Clinton or a Bush again in the White House.
The Democrat leadership is hell bent on nominating Clinton. Why would we give up such a massive advantage in the General Election by nominating another person the middle just doesn’t want? I don’t understand it.
I like Jeb Bush. I believe he did a fine job as governor of Florida. He appears to be the smarter of the two brothers. But if he didn’t have the family and political connections that he has, he would be with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal at the second tier debate. Or worse yet, he would be with Rick Perry and Scott Walker – watching at home.
Elections are about the future. And Jeb Bush represents the past.
It’s time for the Republican Establishment to recognize that.
Steve Balich lives in Homer Glen, Illinois.
The Homer Township Property Tax Referendum Has enough signatures to get on the March 15, 2016 Ballot, and stand up to a challenge.
September 19 Getting enough petitions to get on the Ballot
This Referendum is the strongest statement the citizens can make to their elected officials. There is no wiggle room to spin things to make it seem like the people feel it is alright to raise the Property Levy every year because they can. Although this is an Advisory Referendum, it will be hard for an elected official to defy the direct will of the citizens by voting for a tax increase without going to Referendum. Any elected official ignoring the directive of the voters should be voted out of office.
We believe people in Homer Township should have a say in their Taxes. ( The Question on the Ballot: Shall each taxing body located partially or wholly within Homer Township be required to seek voter approval by referendum prior to increasing its annual total property tax Levy? Yes or No). This is not a Republican, Democrat, or Libertarian issue. It is a citizen and Business issue. Please remember to vote yes on the March 15, 2016 Ballot.taxpayer sign
I want to Thank Walsh Freedom, Americans for Prosperity, Kristen Cross Candidate for Will County Recorder of Deeds, Laurie Mc Philips Candidate for Will County Executive, & Marlene Carlson Candidate for Will County circuit Clerk, who have been at every walk we did in the process of getting the necessary signatures.
The most important people to thank are the 97 plus volunteers from Will, Cook, Dupage, Kendal and Lake Counties. Everyone that helped in getting this on the Ballot should be proud of this accomplishment. This is the first Referendum of its kind in the State of Illinois, and maybe in the United States.
Once this passes in March, citizens in other Townships, Cities, and Counties will do the same thing. They will want to take back control of their Property Taxes.
Steve Balich 815 557-7196
My name is Steve Balich. I have been advocating for elected officials to treat taxpayer money as it was their own for many years without many positive results. I hear people on the Boards say the tax increase is just a little money or people won’t mind because we are giving them something. What they forget is the fact that these Boards are giving you something using your money without asking you if you want it. The Homer Township Tax Referendum which will be on the March 15th 2015 Ballot if enough signatures are obtained, says we believe people in Homer Township should have a say in their Taxes. ( The Question on the Ballot: Shall each taxing body located partially or wholly within Homer Township be required to seek voter approval by referendum prior to increasing its annual total property tax Levy? Yes or No). This is not a Republican, Democrat, or Libertarian issue. It is a citizen and Business issue.
In a Representative Democracy citizens allow others, usually elected officials, to represent them in government processes. Although this is an Advisory Referendum, meaning the taxing Bodies can ignore the will of the people, it is the strongest statement citizens can make to these officials, clearly stating what the citizen’s want. This is your opportunity to make a difference and make your voice heard. If a person on a Board goes contrary to the will of the people that person needs to be voted out.
Steve Balich (815) 557-7196
Join Steve Balich & Joe Walsh
This is your opportunity to make a difference
Everyone has been complaining about their taxes for years, and feel helpless in doing anything about it. We believe HOMER TOWNSHIP residents should have a say in their property taxes.
Shall each taxing body located partially or wholly within Homer Township be required to seek voter approval by referendum prior to increasing its annual total property tax Levy? Yes / No
Help our petition gain the 3000 signatures needed to get on the ballot by walking with us.
Sunday July 26th 1pm meet at Tazza Restaurant 14065 S. Bell Homer Glen. Return for lunch with Joe Walsh and Steve Balich at 4pm.
Become involved: Walsh Freedom Barb@WalshFreedom.com (847) 804-2112
Steve Balich email@example.com (815) 557-7196
Saturday June 27, 2015 I am asking as you to make a difference by helping me get signatures for the Property Tax Referendum.
We will meet at 10:30 at the Speedway on 151st and Bell. I will give you a clip Board and petitions. Some of us can walk both sides of the street getting signatures. Others will get a voter list for the densest areas of Homer Township. We will meet back at Mullets Sports Bar at 3pm to turn everything in. We will have a notary there.
If you can’t make it, please get a few petitions completed and mail them to me: Steve Balich 12259 Derby Lane, Orland Park, Il. 60467.
Shall each taxing body located partially or wholly within Homer Township be required to seek voter approval by referendum prior to increasing its annual total property tax Levy? Yes or No
I am trying to make a difference and know you want to make a difference too. I believe property owners are fed up with the taxes, but feel like stopping increases in the Property Tax Levy is hopeless.
I believe we can make a difference by putting the question on the March 15, 2016 Presidential Primary Election. To accomplish this I need 2000 signatures. I need your help and your desire to make a difference. This is an advisory Referendum that sends a loud and clear message to the people we elect to office that we are fed up and not going to take it anymore.
If you Don’t Live in Homer Township passing this Referendum will inspire people in your Town to do the same as Homer.
Please pass this to your friends
Questions or to volunteer contact Steve Balich (815) 557-7196 firstname.lastname@example.org
I thank each of you and know we will make a difference
Will Co. Board member seeks no-tax-hike referendum on March 2016 Homer Township ballot
Will County Board member Steve Balich wants taxpayers to send a message to all taxing districts in Homer Township — people are against any property tax increase, no matter how small.
He’s collecting the required 2,000 signatures to place a nonbinding referendum on the March 2016 ballot that will ask voters, “Shall each taxing body located wholly or partially within Homer Township be required to seek voter approval by referendum prior to increasing its annual total property tax levy?”
“We want to tell taxing bodies that we are fed up. They have no respect for taxpayers,” Balich said, adding that the referendum outcome will “end the debate once and for all about property tax increases.”
He said local government spending plays the biggest role in whether property tax bills rise or fall because the governments boost their tax levy, the amount of revenue the district seeks to collect via the property tax.
“Candidates run for office and say they are against property tax increases,” Balich, R-Homer Glen, said. “They get elected and say the tax is only going up a little so the people won’t mind. They forget that a little is a lot when every taxing body raises taxes a little, and over time these yearly increases add up to quite a big amount.
“If people speak up loud and clear that they are fed up (by voting for this referendum plan) maybe elected officials will change their tune,” he said.
If a taxing district wants more money, it should only be able to raise taxes for a specific purpose by referendum and then end that tax increase when the money is not longer needed, according to Balich.
Taxing districts — such as counties, towns, townships and school, park, library and fire protection districts — are limited by the property tax cap, which allows an annual tax rate increase of no more than 5 percent or the Consumer Price Index, whichever is less. But Balich called the tax cap a “scam” because most taxing districts raise their rates up to the legal limit.
Taxpayers also have the right to address tax issues during tax levy hearings that local governments are required to conduct every year, but Balich said no one ever attends.
The referendum is way for people to “express their feelings” about property tax increases, he said, adding that if the Homer Township referendum measure succeeds, he hopes the anti-tax-hike movement will spread throughout the state.
“Once people see that it can pass, others will follow,” Balich said.
Will County’s preliminary home inspection code questioned
Published: Tuesday, May 12, 2015 5:33 p.m. CDT
By LAUREN LEONE–CROSS – email@example.com
JOLIET — Tom Joseph, a local watchdog for homeowners and real estate agents, is accusing Will County’s Land Use Department of conducting preliminary home inspections beyond the scope of individual permit applications — a practice he believes to be overreaching.
Will County’s preliminary home inspection code questioned
“If someone puts in (an application) for permit work, that’s the work that should be inspected,” said Joseph, who serves as the government affairs director for the Illinois Association of Realtors and the Three Rivers Realtors Association.
Joseph raised concerns earlier this spring to the Will County Board’s Land Use and Development Committee, saying the practice violates a homeowners’ fourth amendment rights.
“We don’t believe that’s the intent of the law,” he said.
But Will County Land Use Director Curt Paddock pushed back against the accusations Tuesday during a meeting of the Land Use and Development Committee. He pointed to the 2012 International Residential Code adopted by the County Board last year.
The code states that “before issuing a permit, the building official is authorized to examine or cause to be examined buildings, structures and sites for which an application has been filed.”
The department does not conduct inspections without the homeowners’ consent, he said.
If a code violation is “in plain sight” during a pre-inspection, the official has a right to cite it as a violation, he said. For example, if someone applies for a permit to put in a new water heater, he said, and the building official notices a live wire sparking while walking down the steps of the basement, that’s fair game.
“Their perspective is ‘You should have had blinders on,’” Paddock said.
At Tuesday’s meeting, committee member Steve Balich, R-Homer Glen, spoke out against the Land Use Department’s interpretation of the code.
“If someone comes and inspects my house, that’s one thing. But when I apply for a permit, the person should be allowed to only inspect what that was for and nothing else,” Balich said. “That’s way, way out of our boundaries.”
Paddock said during Tuesday’s meeting that there’s concern that the Land Use Department is conducting preliminary inspections “triggered by the current or proposed ‘for sale’ status of a property.”
“That’s simply not true,” he said, noting that the only condition triggering pre-inspections is a property owner’s permit application.
But Joseph alleges the department “on three occasions” attempted to or conducted pre-sale home inspections — a program not adopted by the county.
Alternatives were presented at the county’s Land Use and Development Committee Tuesday.
Balich initiates Referendum———-Shall each taxing body located partially or wholly within Homer Township, County of Will, State of Illinois, be required to seek voter approval by referendum prior to increasing its annual total Property Tax Levy?
By Steve Balich 815 557-7196
I am initiating this Referendum to ask the voters to end the debate once and for all about tax increases. Candidates run for office and say they are against property tax increases. They get elected and say the tax is only going up a little so the people won’t mind. They forget a little is a lot when every taxing body raises taxes a little, and over time these yearly increases add up to quite a big amount.
Do voters want their taxes raised based on the vote of 3 to 8 people on a Board?
Shall each taxing body located partially or wholly within Homer Township, County of Will, State of Illinois, be required to seek voter approval by referendum prior to increasing its annual total Property Tax Levy?
Local government spending plays the most significant role in whether or not your taxes increase or decrease. If taxing districts increase their spending, the tax rate will often increase to cover their expenditures. Therefore, even if your Property value goes down, your taxes can go up. Conversely, if taxing districts decrease spending, your property taxes may decrease even if your assessment goes up.
For example, suppose the Township decides they need $1 million in property taxes to operate for the year and the value of all the property in your community is $100 million. The property tax rate is calculated by dividing the amount of tax to be raised by the total value:
Money needed to operate/ Value of all the property in the Township= Tax Rate
$1 million/ $100 million = 1% tax rate
If money needed to operate increases the tax rate will increase. If spending decreases the tax rate will go down since the amount needed to operate is less.
If your property’s value is $100,000, your tax bill would be calculated by multiplying your value by your tax rate:
Value $100,000 x Rate 1% = Property Tax $1,000
If the amount of money requested by the Township to operate stays the same $100 million, and the overall value of your property increased from $100,000 to $125,000, your taxes would increase:
Value $125,000 x Rate 1% = Property Tax $1250
If the total value township property doubles from $100 to $200 million but the amount of money needed to operate stays the same, your tax rate would go down.
Total needed to operate/ total value of all property in Township= Tax Rate
$1 million/$200 million = 0.5 %
This is where the taxing districts say they are capturing the new growth. They raise the Tax Rate to capture a new $100 million in property value. In doing so they raise the tax on everyone.
Property Value $100,000 x Increased rate of 1% plus the original 1% (2%)= property tax $2000
When property values go up unless the rate drops, there will also be a tax increase. Home values are depressed right now and will eventually go up.
Therefore an increase in the Levy (property tax) raises the taxes for everyone in the Township.
If your tax rate increased from 1% to 2%, even if your Property value decreased from $200,000 to $195,000, your taxes would go up:
$195,000 x 2% = $3900 property tax
$200,000 X 1%= $2000 property tax
Foreclosures can cause property taxes to increase because they bring down the total value of the district. Less money to pay the cost of operation.
The township says if they don’t raise the taxes they lose the money forever. They are referring to the compound effect of raising taxes each year. By raising rates 1% every year in 5 years the Rate is 5%
2014 rate is 1%
2015 Rate increased 1% to 2%
2016 Rate increased 1% to 3%
2017 Rate increased 1% to 4%
2018 Rate increased 1% to 5%
March 3, 2015 the Will County judicial Committee met. Legislation was brought forward for a $300 Administration Fee charged to individuals when their car is towed. Presently there is no Administrative fee, but there is a towing fee and a storage fee that must be paid by the individual regardless of the verdict in court. Therefore the Judge can find you not guilty and you still must pay the storing and towing charge. With this new legislation, the administrative fee can be returned to you if the Judge orders it, but the towing and storage charges are the individuals expense even when found not guilty. Nothing is changed accept adding an administrative fee.
As a member of the Judicial committee I spoke firmly against what I consider unethical, immoral, and just plain not fair. With a not guilty finding the Judge should be able to refund the towing fee, the storage fee, and the administrative fee. Just because cities charge these fees to people found not guilty does not make it right. It should be the Judge’s decision if the fees should be returned. Will County would then have to pay the towing and storage charges, and not collect the Administrative fee.
The Committee argued that the administrative fee may be too high putting a burden on people. I felt like they thought the towing and storage fees were just an acceptable part of the process. One member said it is just like getting a lawyer; the court doesn’t reimburse that cost. I explained that you can represent yourself at no cost, and there would be no fees if your car was not towed unjustly in the first place.
Steve Balich (815) 557-7196
Will County Board District 7
Tax bump, new superintendent in store for Homer Dist. 33
School board approves tax levy, receives list of superintendent finalists
Will County Board member Steve Balich wields an oversized tax bill on a placard as he addresses the school board in Homer Community School District 33C on Dec. 17. Balich was one of a handful of residents to oppose an increase in the district’s property tax levy. (Patrick Guinane, Special to the Tribune / December 20, 2013)
By Patrick Guinane, Special to the Tribune
12:52 p.m. CST, December 20, 2013
Slightly higher taxes and a new superintendent are in store for Homer Community School District 33C.
The school board got an earful from several residents Dec. 17 before backing a higher property tax levy that is expected to cost the average homeowner about $50 more next year.
Board members later held a closed session to receive a confidential list of six candidates to replace longtime Superintendent J. Michael Morrow, who is retiring in July. School Exec Connect, which received a $16,500 contract to lead the hunt, chose the finalists.
“We were really happy,” board President Angela Adolf said. “They told us we had 45 applicants. They personally interviewed 21 and narrowed that field down to the six that they presented.”
The list is being kept under wraps to protect the finalists’ current jobs, Adolf said. All of the candidates are relatively local, she said, but declined to say whether any District 33C employee made the list.
The board now will schedule private interviews with the finalists with the goal of finalizing a contract and announcing the next superintendent on Jan. 28. Morrow, who has said he wants to spend more time with his grandchildren, is being paid about $182,000 in the final year of his second three-year contract.
The next superintendent can expect some fiscal certainty as the board voted 6-0, with member Cindy Polke absent, to raise the property tax levy by 4.9 percent. The tax hike sounds like a bigger bite than it really is, stressed John Lavelle, the assistant superintendent for business.
A state tax cap will limit the district’s increase to inflation – 1.7 percent this year – plus new property growth, Lavelle said. The estimated revenue boost is 2.5 percent, or $1 million.
Assuming property values fall 5 percent, the owner of a $295,000 home would pay $3,585 to the district next year, an increase of $53. For a few audience members, including retirees who urged spending cuts, any increase was too much.
Steve Balich, a Will County board member, brought a placard emblazoned with an oversized tax bill to drive home his point.
“This is a tax bill. It’s big, and it’s getting bigger because every (taxing) district, every local board in our township except the library is raising your taxes,” he said. “The school district, this one, is raising it the most.”
The district relies on property taxes for 80 percent of its funding, Lavelle noted, and homeowners bear the brunt because area real estate is 90 percent residential and just 8 percent commercial. Meanwhile, 84 percent of the district’s operating budget is negotiated employee salaries and benefits. That, board members say, makes cutting the budget difficult.
“Nobody wants to raise taxes,” board member Patrick Dwyer said. “We want to make sure we have the funding for the kids.”
Lavelle said the district has done it best to curb costs through efforts such as installing more efficient heating, plumbing and lighting; pursuing state grants and keeping buses for seven years instead of five. Some parents, meanwhile, would like to see the district shell out for more.
“The voice that we have here tonight is the taxpayers who don’t want it increased. I understand that, I’m a taxpayer, too,” said board member Ed Campins. “But I’m also receiving a lot of emails saying: Why don’t our schools have full day kindergarten? Find new money for that. Why don’t our schools have world-class art programs?'”