Who do you support for Treasurer in ...
Mulder

Chicago, IL

#42 Dec 1, 2012
Scully wrote:
<quoted text>
Correct, the calendar year ends December 2012, not the fiscal year.
Why, hasn't that report been submitted as it should have been, is a very good question.
The report in question is for fiscal year ending April 30, 2012, due October 31, 2012.
Sunshine and Transparency

Blue Island, IL

#43 Jan 2, 2013
Ex-Dixon treasurer Rita Crundwell properties sold for $3 million
By Melissa Jenco
A horse ranch, farmland and house that all once belonged to the convicted former treasurer of Dixon are poised to be sold for more than $3 million, federal officials said Wednesday.
Once the sale of the three properties is completed, the U.S. Marshals Service will have raised about $11 million as part of an effort to recoup some of the massive losses suffered at the hands of Rita Crundwell, Dixon’s longtime comptroller and treasurer.
She pleaded guilty in November to stealing more than $53 million from the small northwestern Illinois town over 22 years.
Authorities said she spent the money on a lavish lifestyle and her champion horse-breeding business that operated largely out of the 88-acre ranch on Red Brick Road in Dixon.
That property as well as 81 acres of farmland in Lee County and a single family residence on a 43-acre plot of land on Dutch Road in Dixon initially netted a combined $1.69 million in unsolicited bids this fall.
The offers rose to more than $3 million after interested buyers were allowed to submit counteroffers through Dec. 21.
Jason Wojdylo, chief inspector for the Marshals Service, would not release the identities of the separate buyers for the three properties because the sales are not completed. Closings on all three properties are expected in 30 to 45 days.
Marshals are requiring buyers to pay closing costs in addition to more than $21,000 in property taxes.
The marshals have already collected about $8 million from the sale of Crundwell’s 400 horses, personal property, a luxury motor home and other vehicles.
Dixon will recoup money from the sale of Crundwell’s assets once the marshals and other lien holders have been paid what they are owed.
“We said early on what our objectives in this case were, and that was to generate the greatest revenue for the victims of the crime as we possibly could,” Wojdylo said.
Two more properties remain to be sold. Marshals recently received an unsolicited bid of $350,000 on Crundwell’s main residence on U.S. Highway 52 in Dixon that sits on about six acres of land.
They will hold three open houses on the property this month and will accept bids until Jan. 25. Crundwell also owned a home in Florida.
Marshals also still plan to sell Crundwell’s jewelry this winter, as well as several additional vehicles.
Crundwell is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 14 for her federal wire fraud conviction. She faces up to 20 years in prison. She also still faces 60 counts of felony theft in Lee County.
Blue Island needs a Honest Treasurer.
Shameful

Blue Island, IL

#44 Jan 2, 2013
Illinois still on the cliff
New year, same old stall — but lawmakers must act


The Illinois General Assembly goes back to work in the next few days. It’s a new year, but the state still faces the same perils of 2012:$9.7 billion in unpaid bills,$96 billion in unfunded pensions, constant reminders from the credit raters that the state is hurtling off its own fiscal cliff.

Cover your eyes. The Illinois General Assembly goes back to work — if you want to call it that — in the next few days. It's a new year, but the state still faces the same perils of 2012:$9.7 billion in unpaid bills,$96 billion in unfunded pensions, constant reminders from the credit raters at Moody's and Standard and Poor's that the state is hurtling off its own fiscal cliff.

The first days of January are supposedly the moment to get things done in Springfield because the state is full of lame ducks — lawmakers who were defeated or didn't run for re-election in November and who, as a result, have newfound freedom in their final days in power to boldly vote their, uh, consciences.

You've been paying higher state income taxes for the last two years because of the lame-duck moment of 2011.

Gov. Pat Quinn, House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton seized the moment then to raise your taxes.

But they failed you then on the most important issue they face: saving this state from financial disaster by reforming its pension system.

And it looks like they will fail you again.

When they fail, when they get nothing done on pension reform in the lame duck session and the clock starts fresh on Jan. 9 with the inauguration of a new General Assembly, you can expect to hear the same tired excuses.

Choose from the following:

"It's a complicated issue."

"The votes weren't there."

"We're working with the stakeholders."

We hope we're wrong about the prospects for the next week. The need is urgent. The unfunded liability of the state's five pension funds climbs each day. The rating agencies appear ready to downgrade Illinois' credit worthiness once again. Illinois already has the worst finances of any state in the nation. But don't think we've hit bottom. It can get even worse.

Yet Madigan and Cullerton show no sense of urgency. And though Quinn does, he has been incapable of pushing his fellow Democrats into any kind of state-saving deal.

They could put pension reform to a vote. The ideas are there. Several pension proposals are on the table.

The Senate passed a version in May, but it addressed only two of the state's five funds and the House didn't bother to consider it. A handful of rank-and-file House members led by Democratic Reps. Elaine Nekritz and Daniel Biss recently introduced a plan that has a lot of appeal. House Republican Leader Tom Cross has his own ideas and has been working with Nekritz and Biss to find common ground. They're not far apart.

Splendid. So we've got proposals on paper.

But you don't see Cullerton or Madigan making a public promise to get pension reform done before the current General Assembly turns into a pumpkin.

Their lack of urgency is evident in their scheduling: Both chambers have cut back the time they'll spend in Springfield before the inauguration of new members. The House and Senate may not even meet on the same days during the lame duck session.

After inauguration, you can expect things to move at an even more languorous pace. The House and Senate are scheduled to meet for just a few days in January. In February, the House is set to be in session for all of nine days, the Senate for eight days.

Does that sound like Madigan and Cullerton are in a rush to save the state?

Will anyone press this? How about those 21 House members who signed on to the Nekritz-Biss pension bill? How about the Republican leaders, Cross and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno? They say they're serious about moving things to a vote. We believe them, but we're also anticipating their excuses if nothing gets done.
Facts and Figures

Chicago, IL

#45 Jan 6, 2013
Why wrote:
<quoted text>
Blue Island taxpayers can not afford all people on the payroll, their city issued vehicles, or pensions.
These actions should have ended at least eight years ago.
^What is the total population of Blue Island City? 22,556 
What is the total EAV of Blue Island City?$245,174,072 
*How many full time employees are paid? 140 
*How many part time employees are paid? 178 
What is the total salary paid to all employees?$9,281,746 
mike

Blue Island, IL

#46 Jan 16, 2013
Carmine Biloto does not want to be city Treasurer. He has done nothing to help correct the dire financial straits the city is currently experiencing. He prefers to reduce his role, as a agitator to any financial reform Blue Island should embrace.
Jobs for Votes

Blue Island, IL

#47 Jan 16, 2013
Open the books.
ron

United States

#48 Jan 16, 2013
mike wrote:
Carmine Biloto does not want to be city Treasurer. He has done nothing to help correct the dire financial straits the city is currently experiencing. He prefers to reduce his role, as a agitator to any financial reform Blue Island should embrace.
Mike you have some very valid points. in order to move the city forward financially mr. blotto kind must be replaced with someone who does not have a personal agenda.
NewBlood

Blue Island, IL

#49 Jan 16, 2013
Vote for Carol for treasurer and let's start getting these Bilotto out of offices in the city and Park District!!!!!!!!!
karl

United States

#50 Jan 16, 2013
NewBlood wrote:
Vote for Carol for treasurer and let's start getting these Bilotto out of offices in the city and Park District!!!!!!!!!
We are so tired of business as usual. Stop this corruption vote carmine bilotto out of office. Send bob Rita a.message.he will understand.
Property Tax Bill

Chicago, IL

#51 Jan 18, 2013
Kadner: New tax bills spotlight local debt
By Phil Kadner [email protected] January 16, 2013 5:10PM
Updated: January 17, 2013 5:50PM

Cook County property tax bills to be mailed at the end of this month are likely to rile both taxpayers and local government officials.

The first installment 2012 tax bills will include not only the amount a homeowner owes but information on the debts of each taxing district he or she lives in; the gross operating budgets of those bodies; total pension liabilities; unfunded pension liabilities; and the percentage at which the pensions are funded.

“These first installment property tax bills used to be pretty much blank except for the amount to be paid,” Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas said.

“We thought people ought to know where their property tax money is going. Since they pay their property taxes to the county, people think that’s who gets the money.

“The property tax money goes to as many as 10, 11, 12, 14 taxing bodies and they’re all running up debt.

“It’s like when the tax bill arrives in the mailbox every taxpayer is getting a bill for 14 credit cards.”

On the second installment property tax bill in the fall, Cook County has been printing information about the percentage each taxing body is responsible for, which is a relatively new innovation.

Pappas said this “is just an opportunity to put out more information so people can find out why they’re being taxed out of their homes.”

Pappas said a letter will be included with the tax bills explaining the information.

That’s not going to sit well with local government leaders who have complained in the past that Pappas is distributing financial information that is misleading.

“The financial information comes from them,” she said.“If they don’t like it, then give us other information.”

Pappas explained that by going to the treasurer’s website, taxpayers can access more detailed financial information from each of the local taxing bodies.
Property Tax Bill

Chicago, IL

#52 Jan 18, 2013
Pappas sent me a copy of my property tax bill via email to demonstrate what it looks like.

The number that stood out (after a fairly large increase in my property tax) was the $99.2 million debt of the village of Orland Park.

In addition, I noticed school districts seemed to have no pension liability.

“We tried to get the figures from the state but were told they don’t exist,” Pappas said.“Do you know why?”

Because the state is responsible for the suburban teachers’ pension fund, I replied.

“That’s right. We’re told no one can calculate what the pension debt of each school district is and that’s just absurd.”

I think rather than have a zero dollar figure in the pension liability category for school districts, the treasurer should consider using the letters N/A or the words “not available.”

The first installment tax bills (payment will be due March 1) are calculated based on 55 percent of the property tax bill in 2011.

In theory, the second installment should be 45 percent, but that never seems to be the case.

All of this stuff is made more confusing by the fact that Cook County is always a year behind in collecting the property tax, which is why this year’s bills are the first installment for 2012.

But back to local government officials and why they’re likely to be angry about the financial information contained in the property tax bills.

Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin in July wrote a letter to Pappas criticizing the way the information is portrayed.

Under the Cook County Debt Disclosure Ordinance, which was Pappas’ brainchild, the reporting procedures for local government are not broken down into short-term and long-term liabilities, distorting the size of the debt, McLaughlin contends.

“In addition, talking about debt load without talking about assets and equity that back up that debt can be misleading. We feel a line should be added stating the community’s EAV (equalized assessed valuation). The village of Orland Park’s debt load is moderate as compared to the standard but may not appear to be moderate if a casual reader compares us to a municipality with a smaller debt load,” the mayor stated.

Given that the tax bills will be arriving in mailboxes two months before municipal and school board elections, I’m guessing the uproar among incumbent officials is going to be loud.

“I don’t care,” Pappas said.“My job is to inform the taxpayers.”

I told her that many taxpayers won’t bother to dig any deeper.

“That’s their job. We spent eight months putting together this computer program to provide the information on the bills and in more detail on our website. People can go to their governments and ask for more information.
Property Tax Bill

Chicago, IL

#53 Jan 18, 2013
“Stop worrying about what’s going on in Europe or the national debt and the state’s finances and find out what’s going on in your local government.

“Their debt keeps going up every year, and it is only going to get worse,” Pappas said.“We’re going to turn into a nation of renters because people can’t afford to stay in their homes. Parents who have paid off their mortgages can’t leave their homes to their children because their children can’t pay the property taxes.

“People need to go to the local government and say,‘This has to stop. No more.’”

I think most people who want to be informed understand that in Cook County more than 60 percent of the property tax bill is usually from their school districts.

And that’s in large part because the state has refused for decades to do its fair share, so that Illinois now ranks dead last among the states in the percentage it contributes to fund public education.

By comparison, the village of Orland Park levy represents about 
7 percent of a homeowner’s property tax bill and the suburb for years returned all, or a portion of, that money to homeowners.

Cook County, by the way, has 
$6 billion in total debt according to the tax bill Pappas sent me.

“Most people tell me they like the information,” Pappas said.“They never realized any of this.

“I’m just educating the public.”
Carol

Chicago, IL

#54 Jan 18, 2013
“It is your local government that immediately effects your wallet!"

You, your children, your grandchildren, and your great grandchildren will soon be responsible for paying all of this debt along with being unable to pay property taxes.
Agreed

Chicago, IL

#55 Jan 18, 2013
Carol wrote:
“It is your local government that immediately effects your wallet!"
You, your children, your grandchildren, and your great grandchildren will soon be responsible for paying all of this debt along with being unable to pay property taxes.
Read your New Property Tax Bill!
Bulmaro

Blue Island, IL

#56 Jan 26, 2013
Agreed wrote:
<quoted text>
Read your New Property Tax Bill!
Treasurer Carmine Billoto did not live up to his political promises of four years ago! Instead, he joined his so called political enemies to advance his personal agenda. He said to hell with the voters. Today, the Blue Island residents are millions of dollars more in debt because of him. He loves raising taxes and fees.
Read Your Tax Bill

Chicago, IL

#57 Jan 28, 2013
Facts and Figures wrote:
<quoted text>
^What is the total population of Blue Island City? 22,556 
What is the total EAV of Blue Island City?$245,174,072 
*How many full time employees are paid? 140 
*How many part time employees are paid? 178 
What is the total salary paid to all employees?$9,281,746 
The 43 million dollar debt is now 58 million.
ItsOnlyMoney

Wilmette, IL

#58 Jan 29, 2013
CORRECTION: The unfunded (unpaid) amount is 40 million - I read my tax bill.
Bob

Blue Island, IL

#59 Jan 29, 2013
Bulmaro wrote:
<quoted text>
Treasurer Carmine Billoto did not live up to his political promises of four years ago! Instead, he joined his so called political enemies to advance his personal agenda. He said to hell with the voters. Today, the Blue Island residents are millions of dollars more in debt because of him. He loves raising taxes and fees.
City hall needs to be scrubbed.
Read Your Tax Bill

Chicago, IL

#60 Jan 29, 2013
ItsOnlyMoney wrote:
CORRECTION: The unfunded (unpaid) amount is 40 million - I read my tax bill.
Unfunded pensions are nearly 40.5 million.
Debts and liabilities are more than 17.5 million.
Together: 58 million just for the municipality of Blue Island.

(By the way; where do you think the funds are going to come from to pay these and all of the other debts reflected on your tax bill?)

Answer: The taxpayers.
ItsOnlyMoney

Wilmette, IL

#61 Jan 29, 2013
One can default on the debt and liabilities - according to this state's statutes, pensions must be paid.

At the federal level (i.e. bankruptcy), the pensions become the larger problem.

Collective bargaining agreements may be forfeit.

Municipalities' ability to re-write collective bargaining agreements is much greater than in a corporate Chapter 11 bankruptcy and can trump state labor protections, allowing cities to renegotiate unsustainable pension or other benefits packages negotiated in flush times.

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