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  #461  
Old 03-20-2017, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Beach Bum View Post
I love reading about Chicago State. Enrollment is down 25% to 3,578. Yet only 86 freshman. A simpleton would estimate that there will be less than 360 total kids in 3-4 years from now. Or a decrease of 90% from the current level.

Something isn't adding up. Is freshman enrollment always minimal here and people come and go as upper classmen?

If I'd have to guess, the school will be defunct and bulldozed in 4 years.
Should have been bulldozed many years ago.
Graduation Rate
Four-year graduation rate 2.5%
Five-year graduation rate 11.7%
Six-year graduation rate 19.2%
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  #462  
Old 03-30-2017, 05:13 PM
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https://fixedincome.fidelity.com/ftg...01128887_110.1

Quote:
Illinois Budget Prospects Weaken Amid Discord
BY SOURCEMEDIA | MUNICIPAL | 03/29/17 07:36 PM EDT
By Yvette Shields
CHICAGO — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and lawmakers veered in opposite directions this week, casting more doubt on the prospects for a budget resolution.
With a bipartisan Senate plan aimed at ending the nearly 22-month-old budget impasse still stalled, a dozen Democratic senators and representatives announced Wednesday five policy priorities they dubbed the "comeback agenda."
It's a play on words to counter Rauner's "turnaround agenda" items that he insists receive support in exchange for his backing of tax hikes in any budget fix.
The plan came about from discussions among Senate and House Democrats "frustrated with the lack of progress…the inability to move any positive agenda forward," said Senate President Pro Tem Don Harmon, D-Oak Park.

....
The bicameral proposal calls for a constitutional amendment to allow the state's top earners to pay higher income taxes, shifts from a flat income tax to a graduated one, calls for campaign finance caps, reversing curbs on state-subsidized child care for low-income parents attending college, easing bail restrictions, and placing more restrictions on tax breaks.
"People are tired of the partisan gridlock that has paralyzed Springfield and left us in the situation we find ourselves with the budget stalemate," said Rep. Anna Moeller, D-Elgin. "It's time we move forward."
The Democratic proposals followed the introduction by Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, of seven budget-related bills Tuesday that would balance the state's books through new revenue and $5 billion in spending cuts. The bills authorize $6 billion in borrowing to pay down the state's $12.4 billion backlog.
Brady called his proposals a "supplement" to the "Grand Bargain" and not a replacement.
"What I'm proposing is a balanced budget that takes into account the new revenues from that compromise but also includes more than $5 billion in general revenue fund spending cuts, adjustments and cost savings, including five percent across-the-board cuts for most of state government outside elementary and secondary education," Brady said.
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  #463  
Old 04-03-2017, 01:12 PM
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http://www.wirepoints.com/simple-mat...ints-original/

Quote:
Simple Math Shows Absurdity of Illinois’ Progressive Tax Cure – Wirepoints Original

The centerpiece of the “Illinois Comeback Agenda” proposed last week is a progressive income tax. That’s the key, Illinois progressives have long claimed. Tax the wealthy more heavily, give the rest a break and most of our fiscal problems will be solved, they say.

But simple arithmetic shows that claim to be utterly preposterous. Yes, our system should be more progressive, but claims made about benefits and feasibility of their particular proposal are insane. Under the proposal proponents discussed, the top 6% of households would face a long term liability just for state pensions and related healthcare of $700,000 each plus an annual tax increase of at least $36,000 to fill the current budget hole. And that’s not nearly all. They wouldn’t put up with it. They would leave.

In the press conference announcing the Comeback Agenda, Senators Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) and Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago) emphasized they want tax cuts for the “vast, overwhelming majority” of taxpayers. Specifically, Harmon referenced his earlier proposal that would raise taxes only for the top 6% of families; 94% would get a cut.



Here are the details on what that would mean for the top 6% (which is 275,507 households in Illinois):



Each household in the top 6% would be on the hook for long term for unfunded pension liabilities and related unfunded healthcare liabilities (which are all constitutionally guarantied) totaling about $180 billion). That’s $653,000 per household. Plus, there’s the $12 billion of other unpaid vendor bills. That’s another $44,000 per household.



Then there’s the ongoing budget hole that has to be plugged which, realistically measured, is at least $10 billion (though it’s probably closer to $13 billion per year, as we showed earlier. That’s an additional $36,000 each year that would be pushed to the top 6%.



So far, we’re up to $700,000 to somehow be paid in the future, plus $36,000 per year for the rest of the budget, plus the cost of the tax cut for the 94% (the amount of which is unknown).

You might want to extend the same thinking to local debts and deficits. If only the top 6% should fairly be asked to cough up, what would that mean if you live in Chicago? Chicago alone has $35 billion just in unfunded pension liabilities. Cook County has another $15.5 billion. That alone comes to another $719,000 per household in the top 6% . Together with the state burden, households in Chicago’s top 6% would be looking at a future burden of $1.5 million.

.....

In fairness to supporters, they’re considering other taxes, too, so the entire burden would not be shifted to the top 6%. Those other taxes might include a sugary drinks tax, expansion of the income tax to retirees, a broader sales tax and higher corporate taxes. Those aren’t terribly large in the big picture, however. Some combination of them, that could reasonably be expected to pass into law, would probably yield no more than $2 -3 billion in new revenue, which is not enough to dent the numbers or change the impossibility of relying on the top 6% for the rest.



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  #464  
Old 04-03-2017, 01:25 PM
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MOODY'S

https://www.illinoispolicy.org/moody...nding-reforms/

Quote:
MOODY’S WARNING OF AN “INFLECTION POINT” IN ILLINOIS SIGNALS NEED FOR SPENDING REFORMS

Moody’s Investors Service warned Illinois politicians on March 30 that the state has reached an “inflection point.” Previously, the credit rating agency’s analysis indicated that Illinois’ economic deterioration is pushing the state toward an economic death spiral.

The message to Illinois politicians should be clear: The state needs structural spending reforms.

Moody’s said in its March 30 announcement that the state has to choose between “further credit deterioration and drift without compromise” and the “potential for stabilization.” That’s Moody’s way of saying Illinois needs a balanced budget.

But Moody’s commentary on Illinois’ precarious economic health says that not just any budget will do. The credit rating agency has warned Illinois may be entering a vicious cycle in which increasing population losses lead to an intractable economic crisis. That means the state’s weak economic growth and fleeing population – sparked by higher taxes – could reinforce each other and lead to a collapse of the economy and the state’s finances:

“[P]opulation loss can be a cause, as well as an effect, of economic deterioration. A self-reinforcing cycle of population loss and economic stagnation could greatly complicate Illinois’ efforts to stabilize its finances.”

Illinois lost a record 114,000 residents due to domestic out-migration from July 2015 to July 2016. All those fleeing residents resulted in a contraction of the state’s population by 37,500 – making Illinois the only state in the region with a shrinking population for the third year in a row.

Why are so many are leaving? Taxes. A Paul Simon Public Policy Institute poll released in October 2016 found that nearly half of Illinoisans polled said they wanted to leave Illinois, and taxes were the No. 1 reason.

And a 2017 poll of Illinois voters conducted by Fabrizio, Lee & Associates and commissioned by the Illinois Policy Institute found that 60 percent of respondents said state taxes are too high. A full 70 percent said their property taxes in particular were too high.

And nearly 80 percent of those polled agreed that “Illinois state lawmakers should pass major structural reforms before passing any tax increase.”

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  #465  
Old 04-03-2017, 01:35 PM
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Maybe they should heavily tax the people hoping to vest their pensions. Get them to leave their pension and the state. Or make them pay for what they are going to eventually accrue.

Like that will happen.
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  #466  
Old 04-04-2017, 02:07 PM
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http://www.bondbuyer.com/news/region...1129275-1.html

Quote:
Alarms Sound About Illinois Ratings

CHICAGO – Alarms are rising about Illinois' dismal ratings and a possible fall to junk unless it resolves a nearly two-year-old budget impasse.

Market participants are increasingly contemplating the impact of the state's potential fall to junk. From the buyside's perspective, such a drop would both sting the state's reputation and drive up borrowing costs as investment grade accounts are forced to shed the state's paper and forgo further purchases.

"The state of Illinois could very well lose its investment grade rating, sooner rather than later," wrote Jim Colby, portfolio manager and senior municipal strategist at Van Eck Global, in a blog post late last week.

"Nearly two years without a budget, unfunded pension obligations, and a backlog of bills do not presage an easy future for the state's finances….Illinois may not be another Detroit, or another Puerto Rico. But it has all the characteristics of a disaster waiting to happen," he added.

Colby called the image of Illinois falling to junk a "daunting" one and characterized the consequences as dire.

"It's not a milepost you want associated with your state," especially given its wealth levels, Colby said in an interview. The state's budget gridlock is politically driven by the divide between Republican governor Bruce Rauner and the Democrats who control the General Assembly.

Illinois is the lowest rated state at BBB/Baa2. All three rating agencies have issued clear warnings recently that further rating hits are likely if the state doesn't break the logjam after it enters fiscal 2018 on July 1. No state general obligation debt in recent memory has been rated junk. Illinois GOs already trade at junk spreads in the 200 basis point range.

If rating agencies send the state to speculative grade, its borrowing costs will rise even more as trusts and other accounts with investment-grade perimeters are forced to shed the debt.

Issuers from Illinois represented the fifth-largest source of municipal bonds in 2016 with $20.2 billion sold. Only California, New York, and Texas issuers had more bonds outstanding than Illinois' $172.7 billion, the report noted.

.....
Headlines over stalled attempts to reach a broad compromise and a standoff over pension reforms and help for Chicago Public Schools "raise the likelihood that the state will once again choose to operate without a formal budget plan in FY18—a development that could lead to a historic downgrade of the state below investment grade" and "will make long-term budget balance more difficult to secure," MMA wrote.

On Monday, state Comptroller Susanna Mendoza called on Rauner and lawmakers to immediately take action. Her pleas followed a warning last week from Moody's Investors Service that Illinois is at tipping point and needs to make progress in the coming months to avert a downgrade.

"I don't know how many direct warnings are needed before the governor and the legislature finalize a budget that provides the stability needed to get the state's finances back on track and reverse the damage that has been caused," Mendoza said in a statement.

Mendoza highlighted a similar warning from S&P Global Ratings in a special commentary in early March. Fitch Ratings in February downgraded the state and it too warned of the possibility of another hit in the coming months.

In less than two years, Illinois has suffered six downgrades, a downward spiral that leaves taxpayers saddled with increased borrowing costs, Mendoza said. The first-year Democratic comptroller, who has traded harsh words with Rauner, softened her tone in the statement but still blamed the governor for the impasse.

"With each day that he refuses to help forge a compromise, Illinois' financial situation gets worse," she said.

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  #467  
Old 04-05-2017, 08:04 PM
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http://www.bettergov.org/news/rauner...ocal-taxpayers

Quote:
RAUNER TAX FREEZE: BALM OR TIMEBOMB FOR LOCAL TAXPAYERS?

.....
Rauner is demanding the tax freeze as part of his price for ending a nearly two-year long budget standoff with Democrats that is straining state finances to near the breaking point. But if the governor were to get his way it could be unprecedented, not just in Illinois but in the history of the nation.

While anti-tax initiatives have abounded for decades, and especially in recent years as Republicans took control of more than 30 state capitols, tax analysts say no state has implemented one like Rauner is pushing that both flatlines local property tax money and provides no alternative source of revenue to cushion the blow.

Under Rauner’s proposal, the only way local governments could increase property taxes would be to seek approval from voters in a referendum, a slow and cumbersome process that is by no means a sure-thing.

Rauner’s proposal is both gambit and gamble. Without the tax freeze, Rauner says he won’t budge on the budget. Illinois has the highest property taxes in the nation, Rauner says, and by reining them in he predicts new jobs will flock to the state.

But a freeze would also amount to a direct financial assault on the primary source of funding for municipalities, elementary and secondary education, and a further undermining of 663 suburban and Downstate police and fire pension funds, whose unfunded liabilities have leaped more than five-fold since 2000, to $9.8 billion, according to the Illinois Department of Insurance.

The proposal presents an incongruous picture. A state that has been stiffing vendors for years and has $13 billion in unpaid bills and $130 billion in unfunded pension liabilities would be ordering local governments to tighten their belts in an unprecedented manner.

“Changes are necessary to attract employers, create new jobs and save taxpayers money,” Rauner said in his February budget speech. “We need a permanent property tax freeze here.”

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  #468  
Old 04-05-2017, 08:06 PM
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https://mishtalk.com/2017/04/04/illi...enue-freefall/

Quote:
Illinois Revenue Freefall: Fiscal Year-to-Date -8.1% and Worsening

Illinois’ fiscal condition is in bad shape and worsening. Jim Muschinske, Revenue Manager, notes a “February Freefall“.

Compared to last year, February income taxes are down 12.1%; Sales taxes are down 7.5%, and public utility taxes are down 34.3%.

For fiscal 2017, general revenues are down a whopping 8.1%, and the state is two-thirds through the fiscal year.

......
Politicians After Your Pocketbook Again

The state of Illinois, as well as Chicago and Cook County, have passed big tax hikes in recent years. The politicians are after your pocketbook again.

In addition to raising the state’s personal and corporate income taxes back near their all-time highs, the Illinois Policy Institute notes senators propose taxing businesses on the “privilege” of doing business in Illinois.

The Chicago Tribune Commentary says Senate tax hike is a raw deal for Illinoisans.

Tax Hikes Don’t Work

If tax hikes worked, Illinois revenue would be up, not down. But Illinoisans are voting with their feet. On March 25, 2017, I noted Cook County Illinois Suffers Largest Population Drop In Entire US.

On May 18, 2016, I noted Illinois State Workers, Highest Paid in Nation, Demand 11.5 to 29% Hikes.

And on March 14, 2017, I noted Illinois General Assembly Retirement System Only 13.52% Funded: Overall, Illinois Pension Debt Interest Hits $9.1 Billion Per Year.

Explaining Dysfunctional Illinois

Tax hikes cannot and will not fix this mess. On January 9, 2017, I explained Dysfunctional Illinois in One Word, One Idea, One Person.

One Word: Corruption
One Idea: Public Unions
One Person: House Speaker Mike Madigan
The only rational solution is bankruptcy, not higher taxes. Unfortunately, we cannot expect Madigan to do a damn thing other than demand more tax hikes.

Illinois and other states hamstrung by public unions, pension woes, and high costs need three things at the national level because Illinois is too corrupt and too in bed with unions to fix any problems here.

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  #469  
Old 04-05-2017, 08:07 PM
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http://cgfa.ilga.gov/Upload/0317revenue.pdf

Quote:
[page 4]
REVENUE
March Posts Modest Gain on Mixed
Results
Jim Muschinske, Revenue Manager
Overall base revenues grew $139
million in March. More than half of
the gain was generated from an uptick
in federal sources, while the remaining
increase reflected mixed results from
the economically-related sources.
Strong individual tax receipts in large
part were erased by significant falloffs
in corporate income taxes and weak
sales tax receipts. March had the same
number of receipting days as the same
period last year.

.....
Through the first three-fourths of the
fiscal year, base receipts are off $1.315
billion, or 5.9%. Weakness is
widespread, and resulted in year-overyear
losses in key areas such as income
taxes and federal sources. As
mentioned in earlier briefings, with
renewed weakness in sales tax
performance, and with only three
months left in FY 2017, it will be very
difficult to alter the trajectory of what
has turned into a disappointing year for
revenues.
To date, gross corporate income taxes
are off $749 million, or $652 million
net of refunds. With the boost in
March receipts, gross personal income
taxes are up by $5 million, however, on
a net basis they are actually down $126
million. Inheritance tax receipts are off
$52 million, while public utility taxes
are behind last year’s pace by $43
million. Cigarette taxes are down $9
million, while sales tax weakness has
manifested in a $6 million decline
through March.
Other sources leads those revenue areas
which have posted gains thus far in the
fiscal year as receipts are up $129
million, in large part to a one-time $84
million deposit of an SERS repayment.
Interest income has grown $8 million,
insurance taxes is ahead by $7 million,
corporate franchise is up $4 million,
and liquor taxes have managed to grow
$3 million.
Overall transfers are down $89 million,
while federal sources continue to
struggle, falling $486 million behind
last year’s pace.
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  #470  
Old 04-07-2017, 04:53 PM
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https://www.illinoispolicy.org/illin...-compensation/

Quote:
ILLINOIS AFSCME WORKERS RECEIVE, ON AVERAGE, NEARLY $110,000 IN TOTAL COMPENSATION

The highest state worker salaries in the nation, overtime pay, generous state pensions, taxpayer-subsidized health care coverage and free retiree health insurance for career workers combine to give the average Illinois AFSCME worker six-figure annual compensation.

Illinois state workers not only enjoy the nation’s highest state worker salaries when adjusted for the cost of living, but they also receive many benefits that are unheard of in the private sector. Those benefits help push up total compensation for the average Illinois state worker represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees to levels in excess of $100,000.

Spoiler:



Quote:
.....
AFSCME demands more, but taxpayers are tapped out

AFSCME and the state have been fighting over the terms of a new contract for the past two years. Most recently, proceedings have been tied up in the court system.

Rather than accept the terms of the state’s contract offer, AFSCME is now threatening to strike if its demands – which would cost taxpayers $3.1 billion more over a three-year period compared with the state’s proposal – are not met.

AFSCME’s demands include additional state worker salary, health care and pension benefits. Specifically, AFSCME leaders are seeking raises ranging from 11.5 to 29 percent, a 37.5-hour workweek, up to five weeks of vacation and enhanced health care coverage.

It’s time Illinois politicians got their priorities straight and supported the state’s attempt to reform worker pay and benefits.

Most Illinoisans don’t have a six-figure compensation package. And they are already suffering under one of the nation’s worst business climates, a shrinking population, a high unemployment rate, collapsing manufacturing, stagnant incomes and the nation’s highest property taxes.

Illinoisans need reforms, not tax hikes.

The Illinois Policy Institute has laid out the worker pay and other reforms Illinois needs in Budget Solutions 2018. The plan fills Illinois’ budget hole, provides tax relief to struggling homeowners through a comprehensive property tax reform package, implements pension reforms that begin an end to the state’s pension crisis, and enacts major reforms to state spending on Medicaid and state worker health care benefits.
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