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ISRA Thursday Bulletin – November 16, 2017

Letterhead

ISRA Thursday Bulletin – November 16, 2017

 

Executive Directors Message

The events of the past several weeks have brought about two distinctly different reactions as to how best to handle mass killers.  The first, as you might guess, is the traditional anti-gun screech for more gun control.  This happens every time something significant happens.  Not that the events in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs were not terrible, but the siren call of the anti-gunners is certainly not the answer.  Many have come to realize that what they propose would only disarm the intended victims, leaving them even more vulnerable.
The other reaction is to become more proficient at defending yourself, your family, and those around you.   Many churches and other places of worship have taken the latter approach.  I have spoken to a couple of people who belong to churches that are forming their own defense teams.  One church in New York points out that “this is not a gun free zone” on their message board.
For quite a while, certain firearm schools have been teaching classes that go beyond just concealed carry.  The first of these are skill development classes.  Skill development classes do just what their title suggests.  Everyone should take the time for these classes.  If you have a combat league near you, it is certainly a cheaper way to develop your skills over a longer period of time.
The next step in the training continuum is training with another person who lives with you, or someone you work with on a daily basis.  If you have an encounter, they are most likely the people you will be with.  If you were trained together on team tactics, it would be a huge advantage for both of you and would certainly increase your chances of survival.  Any bad guy, with any sense at all, would extract themselves from the situation.  Of course, there may be multiple bad guys.  Either way, you have an advantage.
The next step is classes that deal with active shooter incidents.  An active shooter can be a deranged person, a terrorist or a gang.   These classes are designed for civilians in self-defense situations that may occur in churches, schools or businesses.  Gunsite Academy, in Arizona, has one of the best classes but I am sure there are others out there.
The skill enhancement classes are an important first step before taking any of the partner classes or the active shooter classes.  There are many of these classes around and everyone should seriously consider taking one of them.   The ISRA will offer these classes though several instructors in 2018.  Next year, Massad Ayoob will offer his MAG 80 class at our ISRA Range, from June 6th through 10th.
The prerequisite is his MAG 40 class.  MAG 80 is on the upper end of the training continuum.  Remember, ISRA members receive a discount on this class.
It is interesting to note that the October 2017 NICS checks are the second highest in history.  The year 2017 may be the second highest in history, despite a somewhat slow start.  A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal survey indicates gun owning households have jumped from 41% to 48%.  It looks like less and less people are buying into the “government will protect you” baloney.
With the Holiday Season quickly approaching, consider an ISRA gift membership for that special person in your life!
Thanks for being a member.
Upcoming events: ISRA Calendar
For more information, visit www.isra.org
Sunday, November 19, 2017
ISRA Bullseye Match
 
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
ISRA 10 Meter International Air Gun League
ISRA Wednesday Air Gun League
Sunday, November 26, 2017
Glock League
Check out ISRA’s website at www.isra.org! Tell us what you think!
Follow the ISRA on Twitter and Facebook.

Give the gift of an ISRA membership.   Not an ISRA Member?  Join Today!

Illinois State Rifle Association, PO Box 637, Chatsworth, IL 60921

Source: Will County News

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

Illinois ranked 49th in taxypayer burden after several years of one party control

 Get notified the next time we write about Truth in Accounting!

ORGANIZATIONS IN THIS STORY

Truth in Accounting

118 North Clinton Street
Chicago, IL – 60661

Source: Will County News

Woman reportedly grabbed knife teen held to her neck during robbery attempt

Nov. 15, 2017
Woman reportedly grabbed knife teen held to her neck during robbery attempt

by Bill JonesA 43-year-old woman who had a knife pressed to her throat by a would-be robber was able to grab it and force the Park Forest teenager to walk away at an Orland Park drug store.

Officers responded shortly after 6:30 p.m. Nov. 14 to the Walgreens at 7960 W. 159th St. in reference to an armed robbery, according to a press release issued the next day by the Orland Park Police Department.

Jakhari Carrell, 18, of 3 Sauk Court, allegedly entered the store, walked to the rear of the building and placed a knife to the woman’s throat in an attempted robbery. But she was able to grab the knife and started screaming, which caused Carrell to walk away, police said.

Carrell was accompanied into the store by Sylvina Marquez, 22, of 15616 Center Ave. in Harvey, police said. When the victim notified a Walgreens employee of what happened and police were summoned, Carrell gave the knife to Marquez, who hid it in her purse, according to the press release.

Upon their arrival, police reportedly located both Carrell and Marquez still inside the store. While being held in Orland Park lockup, Carrell damaged a mattress in the cell in which he was being held, police said.

Carrell was charged with one count each of attempted armed robbery, a Class 1 felony; aggravated battery, a Class 3 felony; and criminal damage to property, a Class 4 felony. Marquez was charged with one count of obstruction of justice, a Class A misdemeanor.

The victim was transported to Palos Community Hospital in Palos Heights for a minor laceration to her hand, police said. She reportedly was treated and later released.

Source: Will County News

Trades jobs could be answer to problem of high unemployment for minorities

Trades jobs could be answer to problem of high unemployment for minorities

ILLINOIS NEWS NETWORK

The Illinois Department of Employment Security says the skilled trades are a perfect avenue for at-risk youth to get a good-paying job instead of going into a life of crime.

At more than 12 percent, black unemployment in Illinois is among the highest in the country and could lead to high crime rates. IDES Business Services Manager Tory Davis said a trades jobs fair in Springfield may have the answer.

“The trades would definitely be beneficial to a number of kids, not only African Americans, but to all kids,” Davis said. “So the answer is to talk to those kids when they’re young about the various trades that are around. … It takes a community to help kids, but definitely having opportunities to employment will help curb some of that violence.”

Davis said there are thousands of open positions right now in trades in Illinois, such as 6,700 tractor trailer jobs, 2,200 industrial engineering jobs, and over 2,000 jobs for operating engineers.

“With opportunities like [Springfield’s trades jobs fair], we get young people interested in these opportunities and hopefully they’ll be able to fill these positions going forward,” Davis said.

Not having enough young people to fill the ranks is a constant theme with the skilled trades.

Plumber, Steamfitters and HVAC Local 137 training director Andrew Fuchs said they’re retiring twice as many workers than they’re inducting into the ranks.“The Baby Boomers are starting to hit the exit gates,” he said. “We’re seeing 25 to 30 retirees every year. We’re bringing about 15 people to replace that 30, so it’s a problem. There really hasn’t been too much of a problem the last couple of years because we haven’t really had a lot of growth, but as soon as that turns around we’re going to be struggling to fill them jobs.”

Fuchs said schools can do more to engage young people with the trades but so can the unions. That outreach relies on economic growth, however, he said.

“Illinois needs to grow, and when it starts growing, the trades will grow, too,” Fuchs said.

For Jacob Griffin, a pipe fitters apprentice, what’s persuasive is the economics of joining the trades out of high school. He said he learned early that college isn’t for everyone, especially for young people who don’t want to go into student loan debt.

“I come out ahead,” Griffin said. “I’m making money while they’re spending money.”

More employment information is available at IllinoisJobLink.com.

Source: Will County News

Chicago taxpayers on hook for $41,700 each to cover city’s debt By Greg Bishop | Illinois News Network

Chicago taxpayers on hook for $41,700 each to cover city’s debt

FILE - Snow, snowy day in Chicago, trains, Metra
Shutterstock photo

ILLINOIS NEWS NETWORK

With Chicago’s $37 billion shortfall, mainly from unfunded pension obligations, each of the city’s taxpayers would be on the hook for more than $41,000 just so Chicago could break even.

Accordingly, the city received an “F” grade for its fiscal health in a new report from government finance watchdog Truth In Accounting.

“If everybody kindly sent a check to the city of Chicago for $40,000, we’d be back to even, but that’s not going to happen,” said TIA Research Director Bill Bergman.

Bergman notes each layer of government has growing debt for which taxpayers eventually will have to foot the bill.

“But guess what, you’re also a resident of Cook County and a resident of the state of Illinois,” Bergman said. “And not to get really depressing, but we’re also citizens of the United States of America.”

On top of the $41,700 per household in Chicago, TIA said Cook County government puts taxpayers on the hook for an additional $5,100 each. Don’t forget to add Illinois’ taxpayer burden, which TIA puts at more than $50,000. Add on the nation’s’ staggering taxpayer burden of more than $600,000, that’s a grand total of more than $696,000 per Chicago taxpayer.

State Sen. Kyle McCarter, R-Lebanon, said Chicago’s bad fiscal behavior is squeezing the rest of the state’s taxpayers as well. Lawmakers OK’d nearly half a billion dollars to bail out Chicago Public Schools this past summer, McCarter noted. And with a fiscal 2018 budget that Gov. Bruce Rauner says is $1.7 billion out of balance, the Chicago bailout makes up about a quarter of that deficit, McCarter said.Bergman said TIA’s review of Chicago’s debt didn’t include Chicago Public Schools, which has its own financial problems.

“Interestingly, the city of Chicago doesn’t include the Chicago Public Schools in its own financial statements,” Bergman said, even though the city operates the city’s public schools. “That’s a problem almost as bad as the city of Chicago itself, so that’s on top of the pile as well.”

McCarter said that Chicago’s debt affects all state taxpayers, not just Chicago’s.

“All of that financial irresponsibility comes back on to taxpayers as a whole on this state,” he said.

What happens if the huge amounts of long term debt isn’t addressed?

Bergman said people begin looking for greener pastures and less taxpayer burden. And it’s not just rich people that look to flee the city, “but poor people as well that have had taxes raised on them in ways that also haven’t reciprocated in the types of social service spending that have taken a hit from the city’s financial condition.”

Bergman said the high costs of the city’s pension and other debt crowds out spending on other services.

McCarter said taxpayers are fed up with all levels of governments living beyond their means.

“We’re tapped out to the point where we can’t just be making up for [government] mistakes whether they be in Chicago, whether they be in Springfield, or whether they be in municipalities or counties or townships,” McCarter said.

Bergman said TIA’s grade rating is better for taxpayers to understand than the bond ratings credit rating agencies issue to cities because the credit rating agencies information is meant for bond investors. Having a simple letter grade gives a more general picture to the taxpayer of the governmental unit’s health, Bergman said.

TIA is continuing to review data from different cities across the state. More information can be found on the finances for Chicago, Illinois and other units of government at TIA’s website.

Source: Will County News