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Blago

United States

#1 Jun 29, 2013
How long can blue island vote this disgusting individual into office? We need new leadership!
BOB

Alsip, IL

#2 Jun 29, 2013
Bob Rita is here to stay. Give him a chance.
Bob is Hope

Frankfort, IL

#3 Jun 29, 2013
He has been an excellent administrator in the past. He will bring the city out of the darkness and into the light. We need people like him. He is the best. Just look at what he did for Old western Ave. Great work Bob, thank you, thank you again.
Now get rid of all the shines and we can call you a success.
Watching you on Vermont

Orland Park, IL

#5 Jun 29, 2013
Agreed, Bob Rita is a poser, only concerns himself with petty political grudges. Bob Rita doesn't give a crap about you, me, Blue Island, or the rest of his district. He is a despicable excuse for a state Rep and neighbor!
Larry

Blue Island, IL

#7 Jun 29, 2013
Bob is Hope wrote:
He has been an excellent administrator in the past. He will bring the city out of the darkness and into the light. We need people like him. He is the best. Just look at what he did for Old western Ave. Great work Bob, thank you, thank you again.
Now get rid of all the shines and we can call you a success.
His district is majority African American. They booted his Father out of office for obvious reasons, and they will remove his children as well. Your are apolitical Hack. The bridges were closed on his watch, and he continues to lie to the voters.
WAAAAAAA Bob Rita

Oak Forest, IL

#8 Jun 29, 2013
Larry wrote:
<quoted text>
His district is majority African American. They booted his Father out of office for obvious reasons, and they will remove his children as well. Your are apolitical Hack. The bridges were closed on his watch, and he continues to lie to the voters.
My name sums up the essence of everyone who's crying about him.

But please ... keep CRYING ... so I can keep laughing over here.

Thanks in advance!
Get the Lesson

Chicago, IL

#9 Jun 29, 2013
WAAAAAAA Bob Rita wrote:
<quoted text>
My name sums up the essence of everyone who's crying about him.
But please ... keep CRYING ... so I can keep laughing over here.
Thanks in advance!
It is Not what you gather but, what you scatter.
Greed Never benefits anyone.
WAAAAAAA Bob Rita

Oak Forest, IL

#10 Jun 29, 2013
Get the Lesson wrote:
<quoted text>
It is Not what you gather but, what you scatter.
Greed Never benefits anyone.
Then thank God I just scattered some of the worshipers of republican/corporate greed ...

HALLELUJAH!
Scatter

Chicago, IL

#11 Jun 29, 2013
WAAAAAAA Bob Rita wrote:
<quoted text>
Then thank God I just scattered some of the worshipers of republican/corporate greed ...
HALLELUJAH!
Scatter Honest Services.
The Games he PLAYS

Blue Island, IL

#12 Jun 30, 2013
He can get elected, but he sure cant Govern.
Good Fellows

Blue Island, IL

#13 Jun 30, 2013
Be careful what you wish for. Germany legalised prostitution a decade ago. According to Der Spiegel, this has resulted in Germany becoming Europe's brothel. It's a magnet for human traffickers and the people who are profiting are the pimps. The sex workers themselves have seen their wages driven downwards.
June 30, 2013 at 2:10 a.m.
Bob Is Hope

Frankfort, IL

#14 Jun 30, 2013
Larry wrote:
<quoted text>
His district is majority African American. They booted his Father out of office for obvious reasons, and they will remove his children as well. Your are apolitical Hack. The bridges were closed on his watch, and he continues to lie to the voters.
He closed the bridges to keep the beaners out. Well, guess what? They just swam across. They're used to that. As far as being a hack. I'm about a 7 handicap so I'm far from a hack.
a broken system

Blue Island, IL

#15 Jul 1, 2013
Here comes your property tax bill
...take note of a broken system

Cook County released property tax rates last week for its 1,500 governments. The numbers change slightly every year, but two basic facts remain:

•The vast majority of governments, from the city of Chicago to the South Cook County Mosquito Abatement District, spend more money each year. Even if the market value of your home dropped, chances are the tax bill in your mailbox this week will show an increase.

•Cook County's property tax system is fundamentally flawed. It perpetuates the gap in resources between north and south, rich and poor. A homeowner in impoverished Ford Heights pays based on a property tax rate that's almost five times higher than a homeowner's in Northfield.

How did we get here? Years of gimmicking around with a tax system that largely funds your schools, parks, libraries and police departments, and that isn't based on the ability to pay. It creates inequities between neighbors, and even larger inequities between communities. If you live in an economically struggling community, you'll likely pay a bigger share of your property's value in taxes but your town and schools will have less money to spend on services.

Here's an example we pulled from Cook County tax records: A split level home in Ford Heights has a market value of $29,050. That home's owner last year paid $2,345 in property taxes, equal to 8.1 percent of the home's value.

At the same time, the owner of a split level home in Northfield with a market value of $720,980 paid $13,469 in property taxes, equal to 1.9 percent of the home's value.

Ford Heights' property owners pay $32 in taxes for every $100 of equalized assessed value. In Northfield, property owners pay less than $7 for every $100 of equalized assessed value.(The equalized assessed value is a formula, unique to each property, that includes the market value, the value assigned by the assessor's office and a multiplier from the Illinois Department of Revenue).

Because Ford Heights doesn't have a strong economic base, the burden to pay for services falls to the few homes and businesses there. There's a wide gap between property-rich and property-poor areas of Cook County. The areas that can least afford a heavy tax burden pay based on a much higher rate than wealthy communities. Yet the poorer communities still wind up with less to spend.

Ford Heights spends $8,861 on instruction per pupil at its elementary schools. Northfield spends $14,144. Teachers in Ford Heights earn an average of $56,790 a year, about $10,000 less than the state average. Teachers in Northfield get paid $84,915 on average.

State and local officials like to tinker with Cook County's broken property tax system to convince voters they're doing something. They create homeowner exemptions and tax caps, they create new layers for assessment appeals. It all creates a more complicated system, to the benefit of an entire industry of lawyers and consultants who thrive on reducing property tax bills for homeowners and businesses. Guess who's in that business? House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton, just to pick a couple of lawyers at random.

How to fix it? Lots of tax swap ideas have floated around for years, without gaining much political traction.

Broadly, we need to create an environment that encourages businesses to locate here, particularly in struggling communities such as Ford Heights. That broadens the tax base.

And we need to curb the relentless appetite for government spending. Reminder from above: there are 1,500 taxing bodies just in Cook County. There are some 7,000 in the entire state.

Some readers might grow weary of our incessant hammering on the public employee pension costs that are crippling Illinois. Well, those costs are crippling your communities, too.
a broken system

Blue Island, IL

#16 Jul 1, 2013
Your property tax bill conveniently separates out how much you're paying just for government pensions. Take a look. And know this: Most of your communities have taken on huge debt loads beyond their pension obligations.

So, Cook County property owners, when you open your tax bill this week, be diligent and write a check to the Cook County treasurer. Pay the bill. But know that this is a broken tax system.
Tax Burden

Chicago, IL

#17 Jul 1, 2013
And because Blue Island also does not have a strong economic base, the burden to pay for services falls to the few homes and businesses there. There's a wide gap between property-rich and property-poor areas of Cook County. The areas that can least afford a heavy tax burden pay based on a much higher rate than wealthy communities. Yet the poorer communities still wind up with less to spend.
Duplicating services through township government(s) in poorer communities places addiditional stress on cast strapped taxpayers who can least afford it.
Yellow Brick Road

Midlothian, IL

#18 Jul 1, 2013
Bob is Hope wrote:
He has been an excellent administrator in the past. He will bring the city out of the darkness and into the light. We need people like him. He is the best. Just look at what he did for Old western Ave. Great work Bob, thank you, thank you again.
Now get rid of all the shines and we can call you a success.
Can't get rid of the minorities who vote him in office.
Golden Parachutes

Chicago, IL

#20 Jul 1, 2013
Reply »|Report Abuse|Judge it!|#193 min ago
 
‘Golden parachutes" may ensure soft, comfortable landings for high-level officials as they float down from lofty government jobs, but those excessive severance packages drop like lead balloons on the backs of taxpayers who get crushed by the cost.
COMMENTARY
A version of this article appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times.
Big bye-bye bonuses are especially offensive when the beneficiaries already have been generously compensated and sufficiently coddled in their executive positions.
The latest extravaganza, replete with a "gag order" so the participants can’t discuss it publicly, is the Metra board’s departure deal with CEO Alex Clifford, which could end up costing taxpayers and riders more than $750,000.
That puts Clifford in the top tier of the "Golden Parachute Hall of Shame," next to Wayne Watson, who walked away from an arguably unsuccessful stewardship of the City Colleges of Chicago with nearly $800,000 in accumulated perks, benefits and wet kisses.
How many times do we have to remind these people this isn’t the private sector, where strong profits and higher share prices may entitle an outgoing CEO to a sizeable severance package from a grateful board of directors?
This is government, where we, the taxpayers, foot the bill for the programs and services we want and need.
We’re willing to compensate public officials fairly for the jobs they do on our behalf, and that includes the retirement benefits they’ve earned, but not lavish severance agreements.
Here are a few of the other egregious exits the Better Government Association has uncovered in recent years, and what followed our disclosures:
Robert Healy, who ran the Lyons Township School Treasurer’s office, gave himself a $500,000 sendoff by cashing in supposedly unused sick, vacation and personal days. That deal is now under investigation.
Former Chicago schools chief Arne Duncan got a $50,000 check from CPS for unused sick days when he decamped to Washington D.C. as President Obama’s federal education czar. The Board of Ed canceled the sick day payout policy last year, but Arne hasn’t returned the money.
Former Oak Brook police chief Thomas Sheahan profited from a quietly crafted state law that boosted his pension by $32,000 a year. Oak Brook is asking state lawmakers to undo the deal.
And former Lansing police commander Jerry Zeldenrust got a $26,000 raise on his last day on the job, which boosted his annual pension by $19,000.
That was part of Lansing’s plan to save money short term by "sweetening" the pensions of highly paid veteran cops and firemen so they’d retire and be replaced by low-salary rookies. But that created a multimillion-dollar long-term pension liability, so Lansing canceled the program.
These retirement ripoffs are probably just the tip of the iceberg — scams we discovered based on tips and leads.
Imagine how many more of our tax dollars have been dispensed as farewell gifts to public officials without our knowledge because no one was watching or blowing the whistle.
At least the financial details of Alex Clifford’s "resignation" deal have been made public, if not the machinations, and its audacity is sparking investigations, along with outrage, which is good.
But let’s take it a step further by considering a state law that prohibits or at least "caps" expensive "golden parachutes" for departing public officials.
Because if anyone deserves a soft, comfortable landing it’s us — the taxpayers.
Andy Shaw is President & CEO of the Better Government Association.
BOB

Alsip, IL

#21 Jul 1, 2013
Phil Contreras?
For Sale

Chicago, IL

#22 Jul 1, 2013
BOB wrote:
Phil Contreras?
Signs Up!
Bobby Failed US

Blue Island, IL

#23 Jul 7, 2013
Our View: Why your tax bill keeps rising

Cook County homeowners got their property tax bills last week, and most were annoyed, if not angered, to learn what most of their Will County counterparts did two months ago — despite lower home values that still have a long way to recover from the impact of the Great Recession, the tax bill was higher.

The property tax system is needlessly complex and confusing, especially in Cook County, and the tax is excessive largely due to the state of Illinois ranking near the bottom among the states in its share of funding public education. About two-thirds of your tax bill goes to local schools, which are heavily dependent on the property tax because the state has failed to meet its constitutional mandate that it has the “primary responsibility for financing” the public schools.

The tax also is regressive because it’s not based on ability to pay, hitting homeowners in property-poor communities harder than those in a town with a strong tax base. A homeowner in Park Forest, for example, has a higher bill than the owner of a comparable home in Joliet because of Joliet’s lower tax rate from its large commercial and industrial tax base.

Another major reason that your tax bill has been creeping higher in recent years is local government, both its spending and its numbers.

Each taxing district (your town, school districts, park district, township, etc.) annually sets a tax levy, or the amount it seeks from the property tax for its budget. The tax rate equation is based on that amount and the district’s total property value. Usually, the higher the levy, the higher the rate and the higher your bill.

Adding to that, there are simply too many units of local government — about 1,500 in Cook County and about 7,000 statewide, far more than any other state, including about 900 school districts, a third of which have only one school.

This page has banged the drum loudly for consolidating local government and eliminating unneeded taxing bodies, such as townships. Public officials resist because that would mean fewer jobs, including some of their jobs.

Maybe you haven’t cared much about local government spending or consolidation. After looking at your tax bill, maybe you should.

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