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Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois object to Boy Scouts opening up to girls

Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois object to Boy Scouts opening up to girls

Girl Scouts
Shutterstock photo

ILLINOIS NEWS NETWORK

Not everyone is on board with the Boy Scouts of America allowing girls to join the organization. An Illinois Girl Scouts leader objects.

Fiona Cummings is the CEO of Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois. She said she was sad to hear about the Boy Scouts of America move to allow girls.

“We believe in the benefit of single-gender programs for boys,” Cummings said. “And we believe in it for girls. The thing is in the USA there’s very few opportunities for boys and girls to be on their own and learning from and having fun with their peers.”

National Girl Scouts board member Charles Garcia wrote BSA’s move distracts from the group’s poor finances and sex abuse scandals.

Cummings said those are potential issues behind the BSA announcement.

“There are many issues that the Boy Scouts are facing,” Cummings said, “and I think that both organizations were looking at membership declines and finances and wanted to find ways to make themselves viable.”

While girls may be allowed in Boy Scouts, the beloved Girl Scout Cookies are staying put, Cummings said. That program helps girls learn entrepreneurship, hard work and financial literacy, she said.

Part of the policy change by Boy Scouts was to allow girls to take part in the Eagle Scout program.

Cummings said that could impact boys who would benefit from Boy Scouts, and there are plenty of opportunities for girls to learn a variety of skills in Girl Scouts.

“A lot of programs [in Girl Scouts] are very customizable,” Cummings said. “So girls choose from the very beginning the sorts of things they’re interested in together with their troop leaders that can focus on it.”

She also said if girls are looking for outdoor adventure, they can get it tailor-made just for them.

“[Girl Scouts of United States of America] also offers destination programs,” Cummings said. “Last year, we had a girl who went to Paraguay and Argentina, for example, and another went to Germany to see fairy tale castles, so really the world is your oyster.”

Cummings said families wanting more information can go to their website and click “join” to find the nearest troop or get instructions for starting a new troop.

Source: Will County News

Homer 33C teachers among those who cross finish line at Chicago Marathon  

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:

Oct. 12, 2017

 

A lesson in determination

Homer 33C teachers among those who cross finish line at Chicago Marathon

 

Months of training paid off for three Homer School District 33C teachers who participated in the Chicago Marathon this past weekend.

 

Diane Blaskey, Colleen Parnitzke and Kelly Klosak spent months training for the 26.2-mile marathon on Oct. 8. They were among an estimated 45,000 runners who participated in the 2017 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

 

“I never thought a marathon would be possible,” said Blaskey, who was in a car accident nearly three years ago and had to undergo back surgery to repair a shattered vertebrae.

“With clearance from my doctor and support from my family and friends, I trained for six months to accomplish this feat,” she added. “It was a great experience! I would like to try to compete in a triathlon next summer.”

 

For Parnitzke, inspiration came from watching her husband run the Chicago Marathon — twice!

 

“After seeing him cross that finish line for the second time, something in me wanted to try,” she said. “We joined CARA (Chicago Area Runners Association) and met with a group of runners every Saturday morning for 18 weeks to complete our long runs.

 

“This has been the most amazing and fulfilling experience for my family and me,” she added. “I said throughout all of this that I would do this marathon and cross it off the list. After crossing that finish line, I am 100% sure that doing another marathon is a possibility!”

 

Blaskey finished the marathon in 5:26:30. Parnitzke crossed the finish line in 4:46:53 and Klosak finished in 4:27:58.

 

Blaskey teaches math at Homer Junior High School while Parnitzke teaches English at the junior high. Klosak is a reading/English Language Arts teacher at Hadley Middle School.

 

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

 

Source: Will County News

Bill would halt taxpayer-funded abortion

Bill would halt taxpayer-funded abortion

FILE - Rep. Peter Breen 5-24-17
Illinois state Rep. Peter Breen speaks on the House floor on May 24, 2017.

File image courtesy of BlueRoomStream

ILLINOIS NEWS NETWORK

A bill has been filed that would remove the taxpayer funding of elective abortions that was included in a controversial measure signed last month by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner.

State Rep. Peter Breen, R-Lombard, says his bill would remove the public funding of abortions through Medicaid and state employee health insurance, something he thinks a number of lawmakers who voted for HB 40 were opposed to. 

“Some of my colleagues have heard privately from Democrats that they did not like having to vote for HB 40. They felt they had to,” Breen said, adding that some may have been misled about other language in the bill that would allow for abortions should Roe v. Wade be struck down. “I hope that we can bring forward a majority coalition that would say ‘no taxpayer funding for abortion.’”

Lorie Chaiten, director of the Womens’ and Reproductive Rights Project with ACLU Illinois, said the language recently passed isn’t about forcing anyone to pay for abortions, but offering lower-income Illinoisans the same choice as others who can afford their own coverage.

“This is about making basic, essential health care available for women who choose it,” she said. “The additional cost of pre-natal care, delivery, and public assistance for people who want to terminate their pregnancies is four-to-five times the cost of an abortion under Medicaid. When you deny access to women to this health care, you push them into poverty and you also cost the state more money.”

Breen called Chaiten’s reasoning for the cost neutrality of House Bill 40 “gruesome.”

“It’s a claim that we end the lives of these children and for that reason we don’t have to pay for any immediate medical care,” he said.

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Breen is also working with the pro-life non-profit Thomas More Society, which he serves as a special council, to organize a lawsuit challenging how House Bill 40 was brought to Rauner. The bill had passed both houses in May but Democrat Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, held the bill until late September before sending it to the governor.

Breen’s reasoning behind the challenge is based on the date Democrats say the bill was passed by the legislature. If they say that HB40 passed both chambers on May 10, then it’s effective date would be Jan. 1, 2018. But that also poses a problem because then Rauner would have signed it well after after the Constitutionally-required 60-day limit, even though he signed it days after it was actually put on his desk.

On the other hand, if Democrats say the bill passed both chambers on Sept. 25, when Harmon finally sent it to Rauner, then it cannot be effective until June 1, 2018, the beginning of the state’s new fiscal year.

“The Illinois Constitution says that if you pass a bill, you put it on the governor’s desk in 30 days, and it says [the General Assembly must] get your work done by May 31,” he said. “Both of those principals are being violated here.”

Chaiten said that even if Breen’s lawsuit is successful, it only delays care to women who need it.

Source: Will County News

Celebrity’s Remarks On Guns Add Fuel To The Left’s False Narrative

Celebrity’s Remarks On Guns Add Fuel To The Left’s False Narrative

From Mommy Underground October 13, 2017

It’s no secret many Americans hang on every word uttered by celebrities, especially liberals whose ideologies mimic those in Hollywood and the mainstream media.

Following the tragic mass shooting in Las Vegas, many celebrities have bombarded the airwaves and social media calling for strict gun control legislation to be introduced, something the left has been proposing for years.

But a frightening trend may be emerging in which even more conservative-leaning Hollywood types are publicizing their thoughts that more gun control means these types of tragedies will stop — despite the facts to the contrary.

Hollywood A-lister Ashton Kutcher tweeted the following in response to the Las Vegas shooting:

“I’ve had a gun since I was 12 yrs old but enough is enough. I’m a hunter and a sportsman but Nobody needs these weapons.  Let’s pray and then let’s change the law.”

The left and their celebrity backers are once again raising their argument that strict gun control measures would prevent mass shootings like these from occurring.  But even gun control advocate and extreme liberal Dianne Feinstein stated that no law would have prevented this tragedy.

According to Fox News:

“No,” said Feinstein in reply to a question if there could “have been any law passed that would’ve stopped” the shooting. “He passed background checks registering for handguns and other weapons on multiple occasions,” she told CBS “Face the Nation” host John Dickerson.

The Senator echoed the comment on another program the same day – clearing any confusion whether she misspoke, saying that she is not sure if any gun laws could have prevented the disaster.

“I don’t know. I would have to take a good look at that and really study it. I’m not sure there is any set of laws that could have prevented it,” she said.

In fact, Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock passed multiple criminal background checks, and legally purchased all of his firearms.

Even liberal network CNN reported:

“For a person to purchase 33 firearms — and in different states — there would be, in my opinion, absolutely no way it would have passed 33 checks if he had something in his background…he had a very clean background,” (former ATF agent) Vasquez said.

So why are celebrities like Kutcher – who has in the past advocated for gun rights – trying to sway the public by using their status to promote a false narrative?

It appears they either don’t understand the facts or are falling victim to the liberal rhetoric so prevalent in their industry. Kutcher also remarked, “There’s a middle ground here let’s get to the table and find it.”

But this kind of middle ground/compromise thinking is dangerous.  Political experts have predicted this is a “slippery slope” in which even small gun control measures could quickly and easily eradicate our Second Amendment rights.

Breitbart reported:

Republicans have signaled that they would be open to the banning bump stocks, which were used by the shooter in Vegas. there has yet to be any serious policy proposals from the Left that could have prevented the killer, who passed all background checks with flying colors, from carrying out such an attack.

Feinstein has said that “we need a law” to ban bump stocks, and described her bill as a simple piece of two-page legislation “written in clean English” and narrowly focused on bumps stocks.

However, the language of her bill is anything but narrow. In fact, the bill—the Automatic Gunfire Prevention Act—bans any “accessory that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle but not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machine gun.” This language is very crucial because in it goes after bump stocks for being exactly what the ATF described—an accessory, not a conversion device.

Feinstein’s bill currently has 38 co-sponsors, all of whom are Democrat. But numerous Republicans have voiced openness to gun control via bump stock legislation and/or hearings on such legislation.

In response to Kutcher’s tweets, many fans expressed disappointment in his remarks since he had supported gun rights in the past.Others asked whether he would stop carrying a firearm, or whether his security detail is ever armed.

One respondent tweeted:

So you’re giving them up, surrendering your license to own? Let’s see.” And another stated, “Laws only work when people follow them. There is a law against murder and that didn’t stop [the Vegas attacker] so why would more gun laws?”

The simple fact is most shooters who murder innocent citizens purchase firearms legally.  Millions of Americans are legal gun owners and do not go on violent rampages to harm or kill people. The expression, “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people” holds true.

Following the Sandy Hook shooting, actor Samuel L. Jackson made a profound statement, saying,I don’t think it’s about more gun control. I grew up in the South with guns everywhere and we never shot anyone. This [shooting] is about people who aren’t taught the value of life.”

And therein lies the problem with Kutcher’s remarks, and those of Democrats who push gun control.  The issue is not the guns, but the evil in the hearts of those who commit these atrocities.

Source: Will County News

Steve Balich Will County board questions the need for Building permits for maintenance items

 

Discussion on Building code begins at 39:56 Seconds

Some building permits questioned in Will County

Will County homeowners who need to replace a door, window, siding or roof are required to get a building permit, but county board member Steve Balich, R-Homer Township, wants to change that.

Most people don’t know they need such a permit or they think it’s “absurd,” he said at a recent meeting of the board’s land use committee.

“Why have a law if people don’t even know it exists?” said Balich, a committee member, adding that it is “illogical” to require a permit for routine maintenance work that does not change the structure of the house.

“People don’t want to pay for permits for maintenance items,” he said.

Committee members agreed to discuss the issue, with some saying that a permit should be required for matters of “life safety.”

According to the Land Use Department, it costs $50 for a permit to replace a door or window and $8 more for every $1,000 of construction cost.

Mike Smetana, director of the building division, outlined several reasons why these permits are required:

•To ensure doors and windows provide a reliable way out in case of a fire

•To ensure that any structural changes to the rough opening will not result in structural failure

•To make sure contractors doing the work are licensed, bonded and insured

•To meet the manufacturers’ installation specifications to prevent voiding the warranty

•To guarantee compliance with the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code

Building permits also are required for installing a new furnace, plumbing or electrical service, but not for installation of cabinets, countertops, flooring, and minor plumbing, Smetana said.

“Some of these things make sense, others don’t,” said committee member Judy Ogalla, R-Monee.

Committee chairman Tom Weigel, R-New Lenox, said he would not support eliminating permits when it relates to a life safety matter.

But Balich said the laws “should be consistent with what people do. You are saying people cannot replace a door or window without hiring someone.”

County board member Don Moran, D-Romeoville, said permits are “to protect the residents and future residents, not to be a hindrance.”

If there is “shoddy workmanship,” the homeowner is “left in the lurch,” he said.

In 2017, there were a total of 2,069 complaints, including 62 for building without a permit and two of those were for doors and windows, Smetana said. “There are not copious amounts of people complaining.”

slafferty@tribpub.com

Twitter @SusanLaff

Source: Will County News

Trump News October 12, 2017/ America needs to fix the tax system

The current tax code is a burden on American taxpayers and harmful to American job-creators. It has grown out of control in length and complexity so that many Americans must rely on professional help to file even the simplest return. Our outdated tax code also makes our businesses uncompetitive as other nations provide lower tax rates, and incentivizes American businesses to move their headquarters or offshore jobs. President Donald J. Trump is working to reform our tax system so that Americans are treated fairly, can keep more of their hard-earned money, and companies can bring jobs back to the United States.

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Tax Relief Puts American Businesses First 
Last night, President Trump traveled to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to deliver remarks on tax reform. Joined by truckers, small business owners, manufacturers, and local leaders, the President stated, “The biggest winners from this transformation will be everyday families, from all backgrounds, from all walks of life, and our great companies, which will produce the jobs.”

“As the central link in our nation’s supply chain, and the top employer in 29 states, the trucking industry knows tax reform will create tens of thousands of middle-income jobs for drivers, mechanics, technicians, warehouse workers, and more,” said American Trucking Associations President Chris Spear in a tweet posted by @TRUCKINGdotORG.

Why do Americans and American businesses need tax reform? Explore the facts and learn more about the President’s Unified Framework at whitehouse.gov/taxreform.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Visits White House 
President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump greeted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada and Mrs. Grégoire Trudeau on the South Portico of the White House yesterday. Later in the Oval Office, the President and Prime Minister spoke on the special relationship that the United States and Canada share, as well as on the future of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

See More.

Celebrating International Day of the Girl 
Yesterday, in honor of International Day of the Girl, the Trump Administration reaffirmed its commitment to promoting the empowerment of more than one billion young girls growing up around the world. “Ensuring young women have the access, education, and training they need to reach their full potential is critical to ensuring that the power, intellect, and skill of our best and brightest young women is unleashed for the betterment of all,” President Trump stated.

The Trump Administration has launched several efforts in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, expanded access to vocational training and apprenticeships that will benefit women and girls, and worked in communities around the world to help girls understand their rights, increase their self-confidence, and motivate them to pursue leadership roles in their communities.

Read the President’s full statement on International Day of the Girl here.

PHOTO OF THE DAY

First Lady Melania Trump and Mrs. Sophie Grégoire Trudeau of Canada | October 11, 2017 (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

POTUS AND VP TODAY

Today, President Trump will sign an Executive Order to promote healthcare choice and competition. Later in the afternoon, the President and Friday Lady will participate in the announcement of the Secretary of Homeland Security nominee. The Vice President will join the President for both events.

COMING UP

Tomorrow, the President will deliver remarks to the 2017 Voters Values Summit in Washington, D.C. The Vice President will be in New York talking tax reform.

Source: Will County News

Trump Tax Reform

“TAX REFORM WILL GIVE WORKERS A RAISE”

– Lawrence Lindsey, The Wall Street Journal

Lawrence Lindsey, president and CEO of the Lindsey Group, writes in the The Wall Street Journal that if President Trump’s tax reform package passes through Congress, “we can expect economic growth to accelerate to roughly 3.2% for the next three to five years,” which history suggests will ultimately result in higher “real” wages for workers. The bill also encourages entrepreneurship and small-business formation, “the ultimate driver of productivity growth,” Lindsey remarks before commenting that a “rise in real wages” would “lead to the first sustained decline in income inequality in more than 40 years.” If the plan passes, “The American economy will finally start working in the interest of the great middle class and not simply those at the top,” Lindsey concludes.
Click here to read more

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On the tax reform push, Laura Olson of The Morning Call reports President Trump will pitch his tax plan to “roughly 1,000 people, including lots of truckers,” in Harrisburg, PA on Wednesday. The President plans to speak about how his plan “will benefit truckers by lowering their tax rates, boosting manufacturing, and making it easier for families to pass their trucking business onto their children,” Olson writes.

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Regarding the need for a tax overhaul, U.S. Treasury Department Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Tony Sayegh writes in Wisconsin Business Voice that “it is time for lawmakers to put partisanship aside and come together to get our economy and wages growing at a much faster rate,” calling President Trump’s tax plan a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to put “America first.”

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And in the Washington Examiner, Joseph Lawler reports President Trump’s tax reform plan looks to “increase the typical family’s earnings by $4,000,” an estimate that remains consistent with his argument that lowering the corporate tax rate and reforming corporate taxes will raise earnings for the American people.

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In labor news, Andy Puzder, opinion contributor at The Hill, comments that the 16-year low unemployment rate of 4.2 percent is a result of President Trump’s deregulation efforts, which have led to “businesses across the country are [sic] hiring and more Americans are [sic] working better jobs for higher pay.”

Source: Will County News

‘Tariffs protect all Americans’

This article was originally published on Gary North’s Specific Answers on March 1, 2017.

Whenever the government intervenes, there are winners and losers. Follow the money.

A popular slogan in favor of tariffs is this one: “Tariffs protect Americans.” It is an accurate slogan. The question is: “Which Americans are protected?” Another question is: “Who pays?”

In this world, you don’t get something for nothing. If some Americans are protected, then other Americans are paying to grant them this protection.

Who are the winners? Who are the losers?

The winners are a relatively small percentage of American workers who produce goods at higher prices with lower quality than imported goods offered to consumers. The only reason why these workers need protection is because they are not efficient workers.

Who judges efficiency? Consumers do. The heart of the free market system is this: people who spend money have final authority in the economy. This means consumers. Any attempt by the government to intervene in the economy to help special-interest groups always comes at the expense of consumers who would have bought whatever it was that competitors were offering for sale, but who are unwilling or unable to buy the goods because of some government regulation.

A tariff is a sales tax on imported goods. Therefore, the sales tax is discriminatory. It is not paid by everybody. It is paid by those members of the workforce who are facing foreign competition. It is also paid by exporters in the United States, because foreign buyers cannot get access to the domestic currency, precisely because foreign exporters cannot get buyers in the domestic currency. So, exporters are hurt and importers are hurt. This means that American consumers are hurt.

Defenders of tariffs basically do not understand economics. They really are economic ignoramuses. They do not understand economic cause and effect. They do not understand the fact that consumers are being hurt by the tariffs. They call for these discriminatory taxes, and they do it in the name of liberty. They do it in the name of fairness. Yet discriminatory taxation is inherently unfair.

Everybody wants somebody else to pay the tax. A tariff is a specific tax on imported goods, and it is an implicit tax on exported goods. Defenders of tariffs never talk about the fact that the tariffs are discriminatory against the exporters in their own country. They are intellectually incapable of following even a simple economic argument. They do not recognize that when foreign sellers cannot sell their products in nation A, exporters in nation A cannot find as many buyers in nation B as a result of the restricted trade.

This is basic economics. It has been basic economics ever since 1752 when the Scottish philosopher David Hume wrote his essay on trade. These people are not too bright. They really cannot follow basic economic logic. It is unfortunate, but most people are not too bright, and among those who are bright enough to follow an economic argument, they had never heard the argument.

Am I saying that all supporters of tariffs are economic ignoramuses? No, but most of them are. A lot of them are simply hired economists who are paid by labor unions and by inefficient American producers. In other words, they are on the take. They promote bad ideas to other Americans because they are well paid to do this.

The justification for tariffs in the United States was based on the fact that the federal government was restricted by the Constitution from taxing individuals directly. They did with respect to luxury taxes, primarily the production of liquor and cigarettes. They did this from the very beginning. But most of the revenue came from tariffs. This taxation structure protected the average American from intrusion into his life by tax collectors. That was the justification of tariffs, but it was always misused by special interests, most notably domestic sugar producers. That began in the 1790’s, and it has never changed.

Once the government announced the lie, which it was, that the 16th amendment had been legally ratified, the government was able to impose an income tax on American citizens. From that point on, tariffs lost their Constitutional justification. Once the federal government can get its hands on your bank account, tariffs are just another discriminatory tax — a tax that no longer provides political benefits for liberty. It imposes a tax on economically ignorant people who cannot follow economic logic and who therefore call for the tax despite the fact that they are discriminated against as consumers by the tax.

The vast majority of economists agree with my economic analysis here. This was Adam Smith’s position in 1776. This is the position of the Chicago School economists. It is the position of Austrian School economists. The major economist of the 20th century who favored tariffs was John Maynard Keynes. He reversed himself in 1931 and proposed a tariff.

The anti-tariff position is not taken seriously by people who believe that the civil government really has their best interests at heart and who also believe that they can be protected by the federal government. They pay dearly for their economic ignorance and for their naïveté regarding Congress and the federal government generally.

Unless you want to stand strong alongside John Maynard Keynes, I suggest that you abandon the idea that tariffs are a benefit to the United States or any other country and that they really do protect most Americans. Tariffs protect inefficient Americans who do not produce goods that meet the demands of American consumers. This is why these people call on the federal government to protect them — not against foreign exporters, but rather against Americans who want to do business with foreign exporters. They find it politically advantageous to blame foreign exporters, and they find it advantageous to remain silent about stealing from their fellow Americans who would like to purchase goods from foreign exporters.

— Gary North

Gary North has a Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Riverside (1972) and is Director of Curriculum Development, Ron Paul Curriculum (2013-present), and is the author of many articles and books. Read his full biography.

Source: Will County News

Rules for Radicals dedicated to Lucifer is Progressive guide

Saul Alinsky merely simplified Vladimir Lenin’s original scheme for world conquest by communism, under Russian rule. Stalin described his converts as “Useful Idiots.” The Useful Idiots have destroyed every nation in which they have seized power and control. It is presently happening at an alarming rate in the U.S. Recall that Hillary did her college thesis on his writings and Obama writes about him in his books.

Died: June 12, 1972,
Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA
Education: University of Chicago
Books: Rules for Radicals, Reveille for Radicals
Anyone out there think that this stuff isn’t happening today in the U.S.?
All eight rules are currently in play
How to create a social state by Saul Alinsky:

There are eight levels of control that must be obtained before you are able to create a social state. The first is the most important.

1) Healthcare – Control healthcare and you control the people

2) Poverty – Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to
Control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.

3) Debt – Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase
Taxes, and this will produce more poverty.

4) Gun Control– Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state.

5) Welfare – Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and Income)

6) Education – Take control of what people read and listen to – take control of what children learn in school.

7) Religion – Remove the belief in the God from the Government and schools

8) Class Warfare – Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor.

Does any of this sound like what is happening to the United States?

Source: Will County News

Soda Tax in Cook

 

On Oct. 11, the Cook County Board of Commissioners voted to repeal the notorious sweetened beverage tax. Fifteen of the 17 commissioners voted in favor of the repeal, providing enough support to thwart a possible veto of the ordinance. Shoppers will no longer have to pay the penny-per-ounce tax starting Dec. 1.
For months, commissioners have been subject to relentless criticism from taxpayers who overwhelmingly disapprove of the so-called “soda” tax. It appears that this tax was the tipping point for residents who have had to shoulder of one of the highest tax burdens in the country. From some of the nation’s highest wireless taxes to taxes on streaming services such as Netflix and Spotify – not to mention a record-breaking property tax increase and the highest sales taxes of any major city in the nation – residents of Chicago and Cook County at large are tapped out. They have made their voices heard.
Shortly after its implementation, one poll commissioned by the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association found nearly 87 percent of Cook County residents disapproved of the tax, and in the same poll 80 percent said they believed the tax was being done strictly for money and not for public health. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle later admitted that the county’s sweetened beverage tax was always about increasing revenue.

“We chose as a revenue generator a sweetened beverage tax, which had been enacted around the country, both for the revenue and because of the health benefits,” she said. “But first and foremost, because of the revenue.”

Taxpayer anger has extended beyond the soda tax debate. Constituents are expressing their displeasure with politicians who enacted and supported the tax by reportedly refusing to sign circulating petitions to simply place incumbents on the ballot in 2018, according to Crain’s Chicago Business.

The fall of the sweetened beverage tax serves as a prime example of political activism at the grassroots level. Elected officials felt the anger of taxpayers. And Cook County commissioners were forced to flip their votes in an attempt to avoid electoral defeat.

The fight does not end here, however. As state and local governments in Illinois face continuing budget crises, elected officials will try to hit up tapped-out taxpayers rather than tackle needed reforms.

In fact, Cook County is one particularly good example of this.

More than 2,200 Cook County workers receive annual pay over $100,000. For career county workers – those who’ll work for 30-plus years – that means pension benefits worth millions of dollars over the course of their retirements.

Career Cook County workers who retired after 2013 with 30-plus years of service receive an average starting pension of $58,000 a year, meaning they’ll receive about $2 million in total benefits over the course of their retirement.

But Cook County commissioners sought new revenues instead of spending reforms.

Thankfully, taxpayers fought back to stop their efforts. And now they should fight for the change needed to truly fix spending problems within their local governments.

Chicago-area politicians should look to enact meaningful reforms such as introducing a 401(k)-style alternative to failing pension fundsaddressing local spending and eliminating tax increment financing districts.

Taxpayers should keep up the pressure on elected officials to adopt these reforms. Otherwise, residents will continue to live under the constant threat of increased taxes and fees.

Chris Lentino
Manager of Chicago Outreach  Illinois Policy

 

Source: Will County News