Lester: Suburbs to lose out on hundreds of thousands in sales tax
Local suburbs will lose out on tens of thousands of sales tax dollars apiece this year as a result of a new state tax collection fee in the Illinois budget.
Illinois Department of Revenue spokesman Terry Horstman tells me that imposing a 2 percent fee on local tax dollars collected will bring in about $60 million for the state. All towns will be charged, regardless of whether they have home-rule authority.
Horstman says the fee is meant to cover the state's costs of administering the taxes on behalf of local governments.
Hanover Park Mayor Rodney Craig says he expects the village to lose about $100,000 next year because of the fee. While it could be worse, he said, it also stings because the village has been working hard to have a balanced budget and has only a small amount in reserve.
"It's stuff that borders on stupid," Craig says. "I think this is really an overreach like the (Cook County) beverage tax."
Among other towns, the fee is expected to cost $75,000 for Arlington Heights next year, $170,000 for Elk Grove Village, $220,000 for Elgin and about $420,00 for Schaumburg because of its large sales tax base.
And speaking of that penny-per-ounce tax on soda and other sweetened beverages that began last week in Cook County, a poll commissioned by a manufacturers group says 11 percent of likely voters in the county's suburbs approve of it. Twelve percent of Chicago residents support it.
County officials touted the tax as a way to encourage healthy eating, as well as a way to raise $200 million a year.
The poll was for the Illinois Manufacturers' Association, an ally of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, which had delayed the tax for a month by filing a lawsuit. The tax began Aug. 2.
County leaders on Tuesday withdrew a suit against the retailers seeking the $17 million in lost taxes because of the delay.
Former state Rep. Darlene Senger is heading to a new job in Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration.
Senger follows pattern
Former state Rep. Darlene Senger's addition to Gov. Bruce Rauner's team follows a recent pattern of appointees to key positions.
Senger, Rauner's new deputy chief of staff for legislative affairs, was known as a moderate during her time in the legislature, but she spent recent months as external relations officer at the conservative Illinois Policy Institute. That's where Rauner's new chief of staff, Kristina Rasmussen, and several others were working before Rauner brought them on board.
Senger, of Naperville, made an unsuccessful bid for Congress in 2014 against Democrat Bill Foster, also of Naperville.
She replaces Mike Mahoney, a Joliet native who resigned from the governor's staff last month. She's also recently worked as CFO for the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission.
Putt for the Pantry
I'd be remiss if I didn't remind you, at the behest of my mother, that the annual Self-Help Closet and Pantry of Des Plaines' fundraiser is from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at Mountain View Adventure Center, 510 E. Algonquin Road, Des Plaines. Cost is $15 for adults, $8 for children 12 and under. Get a discount if you bring a donation of nonperishable food. Call (847) 375-1443 for more information.
Former Philadelphia 76ers star Allen Iverson was spotted at Rivers Casino in Des Plaines at about the same time he missed a Big3 three-on-three basketball league game, according to TMZ Sports.
Iverson at Rivers Casino?
Did former NBA star Allen Iverson miss a Big3 three-on-three basketball league game in Dallas to gamble at Rivers Casino in Des Plaines? That's what TMZ Sports is reporting. According to the outlet, Iverson was seen gambling at the casino Saturday night and early Sunday morning, hours before he was supposed to be on the court July 30 as coach and captain of his team, 3's Company.
The Big 3 says it's investigating. Iverson has not commented.