The Johnson County commissioners met for a regularly scheduled meeting Monday in which they agreed to sign a non-binding resolution favoring Illinois’ income tax to remain a non-graduated rate.
Americans for Prosperity Southern Illinois representative Travis Akin spoke before the commissioners to request their signature on the resolution saying lawmakers in Springfield have the “super majority required in passing a progressive income tax,” which the Prosperity group opposes.
The debate in Illinois is already underway on personal income taxes that saw a hike in 2011 from 3 percent to 5 percent, which was a temporary increase created to help pay off billions of dollars in back bills and to help protect Illinois’ public pension system. In 2015 the tax rate is scheduled to fall to 3.75 percent unless the flat tax system is replaced with a progressive system in tax is determined by a person’s income.
The commissioners took little time to debate the matter Monday afternoon and agreed to sign the resolution of which copies are to be sent to all Illinois constitutional officers, the Speaker and Minority Leader of the Illinois House of Representatives, the President and Minority Leader of the Illinois Senate and all members of the next Legislative Delegation.
According to RebootIllinois.com, a web site with claims of non-partisanship that encourages “citizens to retake ownership” of their governments, Illinois’s tax hike collected nearly $20 billion in personal and corporate income tax revenue in 2012, up 79 percent from 2010, yet unpaid bills increased by 60 percent with pension liabilities increasing 13 percent. The forecast for a reduction in the income tax come 2015 is suspect as the state cannot afford to lose the increased revenue. The Huffingtonpost.com reported July 25, 2013, that Illinois owes $4.7 billion in back bills and expected it to increase to $7 billion by the end of August.
Also at the meeting Monday, the commissioners postponed action on a petition for an annexation request by the City of Vienna that would help extend Vienna city limits east to Interstate 24. The commissioners generally agreed to the annexation, but had several questions and no representatives of the proposal to pose the questions to. A motion to postpone action until further information is gathered was approved.
Holidays for 2014 were approved, with little changes from previous years.
Highway and county bills were approved in the amounts of $50,275.67 and $58,224.64 respectively.
Before the commissioners moved into an executive session they heard from a Johnson County resident who brought a border dispute claim before them. The resident respectfully requested the help from Johnson County’s Fence Watchers to help in a case in which he claims his neighbor has encroached 30 feet onto his property. The encroachment became an issue after the neighbor erected a fence and corral on the resident’s property and warned not to “trespass.” The commissioners agreed to request help from the Fence Watchers who would work to negotiate a peaceful settlement.
Johnson County clerk/recorder and election authority Robin Harper-Whitehead announced that petitions for the Primary General Election scheduled for March 18, 2014, would be available at the county clerk’s office beginning Sept. 3. The following offices are up for election: county sheriff, county assessor, county treasurer, county clerk/recorder, county commissioner and precinct committeemen.
The next Johnson County commissioner’s meeting is scheduled for Sept. 9, with a start time of 3:30 p.m.