Brian Duncan, an Illinois hog farmer, had hoped the tough trade talk in recent weeks between President Donald Trump and China amounted to saber-rattling.On Monday, he discovered otherwise, when the Chinese government imposed tariffs on 128 U.S. products, including pork and various fruits, in retaliation for Trump’s previously announced tariffs on steel and aluminum.“We were hoping it was just brinkmanship and cooler heads would prevail. But instead, some of our worst fears seem to be coming true,” said Duncan, who’s also vice president of the Illinois Farm Bureau. “This is significant, real and serious for rural America.”The tariffs could test Trump’s popularity among farmers, many of whom voted for him and have since cheered his rolling back of environmental regulations. Tax reform was also well-received by many farmers, Duncan said, but the mounting trade war with China has them “darned worried.”In Illinois, pork producers that … [Read more...] about Illinois pork farmer on Chinese tariffs: ‘Our worst fears seem to be coming true’
The main bank serving Illinois medical marijuana companies is pulling out of the industry, leaving operators with few options other than dealing in cash.Bank of Springfield sent a letter to its cannabis clients late last month informing them that their accounts will be closed May 21. The decision is tied to the reversal of an Obama-era policy that discouraged prosecution of those operating under state marijuana laws.The move is a setback for the industry, which remains a pilot program more than two years after medical cannabis became legal in Illinois. Strict regulations and other obstacles have added challenges to running cannabis companies and kept patient numbers too low for some operators to recoup their investments.Taking away the bank accounts medical marijuana companies use to pay their employees, vendors and the government is another hurdle. It also eliminates some of the legitimacy and traceability of transactions that banking added to the industry, which had $8.5 million in … [Read more...] about Main bank for Illinois’ medical marijuana industry is pulling out, leaving some operators to deal in cash
We’re No. 2!But second place isn’t usually something to brag about — and certainly not when it comes to property taxes. Illinois residents pay the second-highest property taxes in the country (New Jersey has the highest), according to Attom Data Solutions, an Irvine, Calif.-based real estate data company.The average annual effective property tax on a single-family house in Illinois is 2.13 percent. Property taxes pay for essential government functions — emergency response, public safety patrols, water, sewer, infrastructure, education — and amenities that define quality of life, like libraries, parks and social services.Are they worth it?First, consider how property taxes affect your overall return on homeownership.Taxes affect property market values and siphon off money that you could potentially direct toward building equity. “Property taxes are a carrying cost that represent money you could use to pay off the mortgage early and build … [Read more...] about You know Illinois’ property taxes are sky-high. But the calculation process might surprise you.
I couldn’t agree more with your editorial “Illinois Exodus: Flight of the expats.” As an 18-year-old who is about to embark on my endeavors as an adult, I too am fleeing Illinois for many of the same reasons as the families you interviewed.The first is college tuition, cited by the Carpenter family. I am one of the only people I know who did not apply to University of Illinois or any Illinois school for that matter. The Illinois school system is broke and gives very little merit aid to in-state residents.Second, after graduating college, I do not want to pay the expensive property taxes in Illinois. I will not want to pay those outrageous rates with a relatively small income after college, especially when I’ll also have to purchase a car, a home, and pay back student loans. How is a young professional ever supposed to buy a home and settle down in Illinois with these taxes?Lastly, state politics is a deal breaker for me. The Heard family touched on this a little … [Read more...] about Why I won’t go to college in Illinois
By the tens of thousands each year, Illinoisans are fleeing this state’s rising taxes and mediocre jobs climate. Many no longer see Illinois as their fount of opportunity, the place worth investing their lives. They know the math of Illinois’ enormous public debts and the decadeslong soaking its taxpayers face. The next governor, whether incumbent Bruce Rauner or challenger J.B. Pritzker, will lead a shrinking constituency.Why are people ditching Illinois? What might a governor, a legislature, do to keep them? How should voters who remain here factor this intensifying Illinois exodus into their votes on Nov. 6? We’ve been tracking down expatriates and reaching out to Illinoisans who face a wrenching choice: Do we stay or go? From now until the election, we’ll introduce you to some of these people. Today, from the expats, meet the Carpenters, the Heards and the Salvas.The CarpentersFor former Naperville resident Bruce Carpenter and his wife, the decision to move … [Read more...] about Illinois exodus: Flight of the expats