The Journal Standard reported on June 29 that the city was notified on May 16 by Standard & Poor’s that it had downgraded the city’s bond rating from A+ to A. This means it will cost the city more to borrow money. Since the city was notified of the bond rating change, there have been three council meetings. The big question is why was this was not discussed at one of these meetings? The Freeport Council must have known of this rating change, and did not feel the citizens of this community were entitled to this information. Obviously, the council must not understand the full ramifications of this rating change. Otherwise, it would have been discussed at council meetings. Alderman Tom Klemm was quoted in the Journal Standard article when describing the condition of Freeport – “We’re still in good shape.” What city is this man living in? This simplistic attitude is part of Freeport’s problem. The present leadership on the city council is totally incapable of comprehending the serious issues facing Freeport. If you don’t understand the issues, how in the world will you be able to address them?
A Mexican military helicopter crossed the U.S. border today, and fired at a marked U.S. Border Patrol vehicle. Fortunately, no one was injured. After the shooting, the helicopter returned to Mexico. See http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2014/06/27/mexican-military-helicopter-flies-into-us-shoots-at-border-patrol-agents-flies-back-n1856443
Why is this happening? Weakness encourages aggression whether it is Iraqi, Ukraine, and now on our own border with Mexico. This Administration treats our veterans like second class citizens while Mexicans illegally entering the U.S. get first rate medical care. See New York Times Article at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/10/us/va-audit-finds-long-waits-for-care-are-widespread.html?_r=0
This is not the first time Mexico has invaded the U.S. and it is becoming a common occurrence. See article at http://www.kvoa.com/news/n4t-investigators-rogue-mexican-army-troops-crossing-the-line/
What will the Obama administration do? Apologize, Apologize, and Apologize – We will apologize for annexing Texas in 1845, and offer to give the state back to Mexico. Obama doesn’t like Texas anyway – it does have a Republican governor and an economy that is booming. Oh, by the way, do you think Mexico will throw in that American soldier who has been held over 60 days in a Mexican prison? So sad but almost true.
Any taxpayer who has had the unfortunate experience of dealing with the IRS can attest to the fact that there is double standard in Washington.
If you work for the IRS, and don’t pay your income taxes – what do you get? A big fat bonus.
See LA Times article at http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-irs-bonuses-20140424-story.html
If you don’t work for the IRS, and don’t pay your income taxes – what do you get? A sentence to a federal prison. See some of the cases the IRS publicizes at http://www.irs.gov/uac/Examples-of-Nonfiler-Investigations-Fiscal-Year-2014
If you work for the IRS, you can refuse to answer questions before a U.S. House Committee about your work and possible criminal activities asserting your right against self-incrimination – what do you get? A big fat retirement check each month. See article at http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/melanie-hunter/lois-lerner-pleads-fifth-again-house-hearing-irs-scandal
If you don’t work for the IRS, and agents ask you about your failure to report income, and you refuse to answer – What do you get? A sentence to federal prison.
If you work for the IRS, and don’t want incriminating emails released when requested by a Congressional Committee, you say your computer crashed! What do you get? A big fat retirement check each month? See article at http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/06/17/lost-irs-emails-get-real-team-obama-were-not-that-gullible/
You’re audited by the IRS, and tell them your computer crashed and you lost all of your records – What do you get? A sentence to federal prison.
And finally, if you’re the IRS Commissioner, and a U.S. House Committee asks you if you owe the American people an apology for the conduct of the IRS – You refuse to apologize since you know that it’s part of the code of conduct of the IRS. You never apologize no matter how much damage you have done to an honest taxpayer. I guess that means if your are the IRS, you can do what every you want – damn Congress and the citizens of this country. So sad, but true.
It’s nice to know that MetLife wants to help us with our retirement. In Freeport it is closing its office forcing hundreds of employees into mandatory retirement. Will, I guess MetLife is an expert on retirement. Just ask those Freeport employees who no longer have jobs. Next time you see an ad for MetLife, think about that empty house next door, or your former friends who were forced to move to find a new job. Freeport will be living proof as to MetLife’s retirement expertise.
In 2000 Ruth Heffron established a traditional IRA and named her daughter the beneficiary of the account. In 2001 Ms. Heffron died, and the account had a value of little over $450,000, and the daughter received the account electing to take monthly distributions. In 2010 the daughter filed a bankruptcy petition listing the inherited IRA as an exempt asset worth about $300,000. The bankruptcy trustee objected to the characterization as an exempt asset on the grounds the funds in the inherited IRA were not “retirement funds.” The case went through the appeal process and now the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled on June 12, 2014 that an inherited IRA is not an exempt asset.
This decision is important to anyone with substantial funds in an IRA. You die, and your child could lose the whole inherited IRA if the child has financial problems. Some states do exempt inherited IRA’s, and more states will probably consider exempting them in light of this decision. In the meantime one should review beneficiary designations on their retirement accounts. Beneficiaries should even consider taking lump sum distributions paying the tax, and investing in exempt assets!
Read the case at
At the June 2 Freeport Council meeting there was the first reading of the new Comcast (cable) franchise agreement. As is usual with this Council, there was little constructive discussion except for Alderman Shawn Boldt who wondered if the 5% franchise fee (basically a tax of 5% on your cable bill) could be increased. He was advised that the FCC set the maximum which is 5%. It’s good to know that Alderman Boldt is looking for ways to increase our taxes. He must be auditioning for a job with Governor Quinn and his tax and spend friends in Springfield.
The meeting will begin at 6:00 pm in the City Council Chambers at 524 West Stephenson Street, 3rd Floor. If you have Comcast Cable, go to channel 17 to watch live.
Some items of interest on the agenda:
Proclamation of Mayor proclaiming June 19 – 22 Juneteenth Day, read it at http://www.cityoffreeport.org/OrdRes/PROCL%20JUNETEENTH_20140616.pdf
Memo on monthly garbage rate increase starting July 1 from $12.02 to $12.25 per month
2nd reading of Ordinance approving Comcast Franchise Agreement
2nd reading of Ordinance amending Residential Rental Property Regulations
Various Resolutions pertaining to county-wide transportation program to be run by Senior Resource Center in Freeport
Appointment of James Brown, Community Development Director, to the Board of Directors of the Jane Addams Trail Commission and the Pecatonica Prairie Path Commission, with Shaun Gallagher, City Engineer, as an alternate Board member for each Commission.
Acceptance of low bid and Contract for Mill and Overly Program to Civil Constructors, Inc. for $292,567.20
To read the complete agenda, go to http://www.ci.freeport.il.us/citygovernment/Agendas/A20140616.pdf
Black bears have been spotted in Freeport, Stockton, and now Rockford, Illinois. The bears are migrating from our northern neighbor, Wisconsin. There have not been any black bears in Illinois since 1870. Do you really believe that they decided to come to Illinois on their own? The answer is a resounding NO. Wisconsin Governor Walker and his Republican friends to the north by their tax policies gave the State of Wisconsin a decisive tax advantage over their high tax friends to the south. To further drive residents and businesses out of Illinois, Wisconsin has been secretly forcing black bears south into Illinois.
Mayor Morrissey of Rockford, Illinois stated – “It’s difficult enough to attract residents and businesses to Rockford when you look at the economic policies of this state, and now you cannot even go out at night without the threat of black bears attacking you.” Governor Quinn to his credit did say that if there are any bear attacks in the area, he would consider mobilizing the National Guard. Bruce Rauner, his Republican opponent in this fall’s election, stated that in order to encourage economic development he would recommend tax credits for bear processing plants if they would relocate to northwest Illinois.
For more information provided by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, go to
The Illinois Legislature adjourned with no action on taxes. Obviously, they did not want to vote for a tax increase prior to the election. After the last election, the Legislature came back into session led by Governor Quinn and increased the state’s income tax by 67%. How stupid do our representatives think we are? The answer my friend is written in the waste pit they call Springfield – damn stupid. After the next election, we could have a new Governor and few new people in the legislature making passage of a tax increase more difficult. Never fear, they have a plan just like last time. They will reconvene the legislature after the election. The 67% income tax increase will be made permanent. Any spending cuts and reductions in public employee benefits will be rescinded.
It’s time for the people of this state to wake up – make the legislators of this state take the 67% Pledge. No tax increases and no new legislation after the election by a lame duck legislature. They must promise to deal with the issues facing this state after the new legislature and governor are sworn in. Of course, this is this Illinois. Most of them will refuse to take the pledge. Integrity and honesty are not a characteristic of most Illinois politicians. When they refuse to take the pledge, Illinois voters will know the type of representatives they are dealing with and can vote accordingly.
Don’t let those taxing bodies fool you. Every taxing body in the City of Freeport has increased their tax rates for 2013 led by the Freeport School District which has the capacity by itself to bankrupt this community. The total tax rate for those living in Freeport has increased over 10% in two years, and this is a fact. If this rate increase continues at 5% per year, it would be up 25% in five years. If you work in the private sector, has your income gone up over 10% in last two years? If you are retired without a public pension, has your social security gone up 10% in the last two years? When will the taxpayers in Freeport say enough is enough? The answer is clear – only after it is too late, and we are close to that point.