Posts Tagged ‘Chicago’

Jackson’s Fall Includes Tax Charge

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

I was going to put in a line in this post, “Will the first Chicago politician who is honest, forthright, and not corrupt please stand up?” However, I realized that there must be some politician in the Windy City who is honest (at least some of the time). The last three governors of Illinois all went to prison (and it’s equal opportunity corruption: both Republicans and Democrats). Joining them will be former Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. and his wife, Sandi (a former Alderman in Chicago).

Mr. Jackson resigned last November from Congress; Ms. Jackson resigned in January from the Chicago City Council. Both are pleading guilty: Mr. Jackson to conspiracy and Ms. Jackson to filing a false tax return. They pleaded guilty on Friday.

The scheme apparently had them using “business” credit cards (here, business is their re-election campaign) for personal expenses. As this blog has highlighted numerous times in the past (and will likely do numerous times in the future), you can’t put personal expenses on a business return. And we’re not talking nickel and dime purchases; the total is $582,772.58. Add in filing false campaign reports and you have problems.

There’s even a tie to Las Vegas. Mr. Jackson has a greed to forfeit $750,000 plus a host of memorabilia; much of that memorabilia was purchased from Antiquities of Nevada, a store here in Las Vegas. If you follow US Treasury auctions, you soon will be able to buy a football signed by several presidents, an Eddie Van Halen guitar, Bruce Lee memorabilia, and a lot more. But I digress….

I’m a native of Chicago and love the city. I’m a fan of the Blackhawks and Cubs. That said, the corruption in Chicago is something I don’t miss.

2.75% or 30.6%?

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

I’m a native of Chicago. It’s a great city, and has every kind of attraction you can think of. It’s also the home to the best baseball team in the world (unfortunately, they usually don’t have a good record).

But Chicago may become a much more taxing place to visit or shop. Currently, the sales tax in Cook County (Chicago and nearby suburbs) is 9.00%. That doesn’t appear to be large enough to Cook County Commissioners.

Cook County Commissioner Joan Murphy told Leah Hope of WLS-TV, “We just need to do something other than cut jobs if we want to maintain services to our residents.” What’s the something she proposes? A sales tax increase from 9% to between 11% and 11.75%. That’s somewhere between a 22.2% increase and a 30.6% increase.

Apparently, Ms. Murphy thinks the tax increase is a done deal. She told Ms. Hope, “The sales tax is going up 2 ¾ percent. That’s not a back-breaking increase.”

Well, a 30.6% increase may not be back-breaking, but that’s a huge increase. I’m sure local businesses—especially those where individuals have options to shop elsewhere—will feel the difference. Wheaton, in nearby DuPage County, has a sales tax rate of 7.75%. A 4% difference will likely cause some shoppers to patronize other stores. Likewise, Joliet in Will County has a 7.75% rate.

The proposal must go through public hearings, and votes by the commissioners before being implemented. Needless to say, if you live in Cook County, this is something you may want to raise your voice about…or you will likely find things 30% more expensive.

News Story Here

There’s Corruption in Chicago? I’m Shocked!

Sunday, July 15th, 2007

Yeah, right. I’m a native of the Windy City and am anything but shocked. A former Alderman (city councilperson) is now facing 13 federal charges, including tax evasion.

Arenda Troutman is accused of using a political committee to hide money that was raised for projects she supported in her political district. Ms. Troutman is accused of starting the “20th Ward Women’s Auxiliary” and using it to hide money and disguise payments. Additionally, the Auxiliary didn’t file for non-profit status and never filed Illinois or federal tax returns.

Troutman had earlier been accused of bribery (she pleaded not guilty last month to that charge); she now has an additional 12 charges of bribery, extortion, mail fraud, and tax evasion to face. Two former staff member’s of Troutman’s office also face charges.

News Story: FoxChicago