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A look at another aspect of the Rauner proposal: Property taxes

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014

* Eric Zorn looks at Bruce Rauner’s property tax proposal

But the “Bring Back Blueprint” also contains some stinkers, notably the call for a property tax freeze. With the freeze in place, according to the campaign’s explanation of the vague passage on Page 10, the annual amount individual property owners pay could not be increased until voters OK’d the hike at the polls.

First, this proposal glosses over the complexity of the property tax system, in which your bill is your share, based on the value of your property, of the combined requirements of local taxing bodies, such as parks, libraries and schools. But even if the law froze or lowered those requirements — called levies — your share would go up if your property value rose more quickly than average.

Second, it would require a three-fifths vote of the General Assembly to impose a property tax freeze on home-rule communities, according to the Illinois Department of Revenue, making it close to politically impossible.

Third, it would plunge every affected community into perpetual (and expensive) referendum hell, with every incremental initiative effectively put to a popular vote.

Finally, as time and inflation took their toll, a freeze would inevitably starve not only police, fire and other essential services, but also education, which already relies too heavily on local property taxes and which Rauner has pledged, somehow, to bolster.

* As does Mark Brown, who wrote “don’t fall for this illusion that the rich man has the secret pain-free formula to save us all”

Nobody likes to pay property taxes. Nobody likes higher property taxes. But property taxes are the primary method by which we fund our schools in Illinois.

If you reduce the state income tax while freezing the local property tax, the effect is to put a chokehold on the public school system in your community.

That’s why there had been a push for many years to increase the state income tax: to get more money to schools and in the process take pressure off property taxes.

Unfortunately, because of the state’s financial mismanagement [feel free to blame the Democrats although Republicans played a role, too] and the recession, we dug ourselves such a deep hole that too little of the increased revenue has made it to the schools.

* As does Phil Kadner

Rauner also recently has said he wants to freeze property taxes.

I don’t even know what that means.

Does he want to freeze property tax rates? Does he want to freeze the levies of local school districts, library boards and municipalities?

I mention this because it’s all of apiece.

Even Republicans, who want to cut budgets, understand that you need money to pay for important programs that provide valuable services for people.

Even Democrats, who advocate increased government spending on social service programs, complain about their taxes.

What people really want, it seems to me, is lots of stuff at no cost.

Yep. We’ve all been spoiled by three and a half decades of almost constant and huge federal budget deficits. The feds have magic money powers, so folks assume everybody else does too. They’re wrong, but politicians and way too many editorial boards think magic is a plan.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


50 Comments
  1. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 10:16 am:

    === “don’t fall for this illusion that the rich man has the secret pain-free formula to save us all”===

    Good advice.


  2. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 10:19 am:

    Rauner has an ad berating Quinn for cutting education funding. What does he think his property tax plan, along with his plan to phase out the current income tax rate, will do?


  3. - OneMan - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 10:22 am:

    Third, it would plunge every affected community into perpetual (and expensive) referendum hell, with every incremental initiative effectively put to a popular vote.

    Am I missing something, don’t all sorts of municipalities do things now even new things, without increasing property taxes each time. Like reducing spending in other areas.

    Does the freeze prevent increases in taxes due to valuations going up?


  4. - Kizzoboy - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 10:26 am:

    Only way to “freeze” would be to restrict the levy amount. Any increase in excess of the previous levy could be subject to referendum. I believe a law like this may be in place in Wisconsin. Very difficult to increase a levy there - but state aid is also big in Wisconsin.


  5. - Plutocrat03 - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 10:26 am:

    Similarly you should not fall for the illusion that just one more tax increase will solve all the problems of the world.

    Property taxes in Illinois are just a symptom of the inequitable way schools are funded in Illinois. Chicago, with it’s concentrated real estate wealth pays far less per student than the rest of the state does. More General Revenue dollars per student flow to Chicago than to many moderate income suburbs and rural communities.

    Hmmmm, wonder how that happened?


  6. - Jimbo - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 10:33 am:

    Well Plutocrat, Chicago also funds (is supposed to fund) its teacher’s pensions. That’s why it looks lopsided.


  7. - Bogey Golfer - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 10:33 am:

    ==Only way to “freeze” would be to restrict the levy amount. Any increase in excess of the previous levy could be subject to referendum.==
    Don’t we have something that local districts wishing to increase the levy by more than 5% needs to be approved by a referedum? I remember Pate Philip introducing legislation to this effect, and subsequently most requests fail. The only such referdums that pass are forest preserve districts requesting money to buy open space.


  8. - elginkevin - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 10:36 am:

    Property taxes are on a lot of people’s minds in the Dupage portion covered by U-46, given the huge increases over the past 4 or 5 years relative to the decreases in Kane County.

    I mean, I’m not complaining; my tax bill is dropping. But some acquaintances in Bartlett are getting nailed.

    I think it came out that this was (at least partially) due to an error by Kane County.


  9. - I B Strapped - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 10:38 am:

    Very timely, as I received my tax bill yesterday. After five consecutive years of tax increases, I fail to see a major problem with a freeze. My Fair Cash Value goes up, pronounced by the Appraiser I suppose, levies increase but property where I live is NOT and has NOT increased in market value in those 5-6 years. It looks like whatever increases the schools say they must have to have must be unfairly assessed and paid by me, the property owner, with little recourse, except to appeal-RIGHT!


  10. - Perspective - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 10:39 am:

    For some perspective, from IDOR, in 2012, property taxes generated $26.7 billion statewide. Let’s assume Rauner is talking about a freeze to the levy, meaning, the $26.7 billion figure (whatever the updated figure is) doesn’t increase. If on average, taxing districts would have increased their levy by 2%, that is $534 million (3% is $802 million) in revenues they won’t be able to obtain. So if we wanted to increase aid to locals, this is a decent ballpark figure.


  11. - Mason born - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 10:40 am:

    –We’ve all been spoiled by three and a half decades of almost constant and huge federal budget deficits. The feds have magic money powers, so folks assume everybody else does too. They’re wrong–

    God help us if we reach the point the Magic money powers stop working.


  12. - Jimmy - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 10:51 am:

    I agree that Rauner’s property tax plan is unrealistic but he’s telling voters that he “feels their pain” and that “he’s on their side” of this issue. The reality is that many property owners now feel like that can’t even plan for the future in Illinois because they have no clue how large their property tax bills will be in 2-6 years to cover all the debt. They also worry that their neighbors may vote with their feet before paying higher property taxes in exchange for nothing but old bills being covered. Rauner is tapping into this voter angst (I’m surprised that this isn’t a Rauner funded ballot initiative) and Quinn is not. Quinn ignores this issue at his peril.


  13. - Madison - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 10:52 am:

    Keep in mind that one could freeze the levy, the rate or the assessment level folks (all 3?). As most of the big hitters (schools) are already at the top of their tax rate, an assessment freeze looks to be an extension of the senior benefits we already have on incomes less than 55k. The real losers here are home rule communities with declining tax bases. Those communities untilthis point could raise the levy at will.


  14. - Cook County Commoner - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    I qualified this year for the Senior Property Tax Exemption. I’ll save about $600.00. If I understand the system, this means someone else in my taxing districts must pick up the balance.
    Somewhere around 10,000 people in the US are turning 65 everyday. I presume quite a few can access an exemption or other program designed to minimize the property tax hit.
    How does Mr. Rauner’s “freeze” make up the likely loss in Illinois of senior property tax payments?


  15. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    My property taxes reflect the value of my home, the value of my neighborhood and the value of the schools.

    Catch that word? VALUE.

    So what we’ve been dealing with has been the declining value perceived by citizens regarding their homes, neighborhoods and schools. Citizens don’t want their property taxes increased more than their perceived value of those three things. As long as citizens see a value there, then they will pay a property tax up to the limit of the value they perceive.

    The crisis has been the falling value of homes, neighborhoods and schools. We’ve not really come to deal completely with the sub-prime disaster from the past decade which has buried home values. We have a problem with the falling value of many of our neighborhoods. Chicago is a disaster for a family today. And who wants to pay higher property taxes for crappy public schools?

    Property taxes are not the problem. They are a sign of a bigger problem. Failing public schools, dangerous dilapidated neighborhoods, home values collapsing in the South Cook villages and towns, voters don’t want to pay more in property taxes on property they don’t see as keeping its value.

    I favor keeping property taxes tied to the infrastructure currently dependent upon that tax and giving citizens a reason to believe their property taxes are a value.

    Income tax is not the way to do that because it would allow a continuation of funding infrastructure that is not considered a good value by citizens. We need to do that.


  16. - Norseman - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 10:57 am:

    This was an easy Motherhood and Apple Pie statement made by the Raunervich campaign to play to voters hatred of property taxes. I predict that this would be one of the first campaign promises he reneges on.


  17. - CircularFiringSquad - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 11:00 am:

    Hey you were all yelling at Flip Rauner to provide some details. Well he did. He is for higher income taxes and a new sales tax.
    GOPies and other rich like prop tax freeze because they pay toooooooooooo much on their $10 million cribs….and even more on their stores, office towers, etc. Remember every dollar not paid in taxes is more in their pockets or to donations for dark money smear groups


  18. - Madison - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    In the metro east illinois township assessors are locked in a fairly desperate battle with declining home values. At the top of their tax rates, and with no room to raise rates, school officials depended on their assesssor allies to raise property values. Now they have no choice but austerity unless assessments can be propped up.


  19. - James - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 11:02 am:

    In the early 90s the legislature passed a law proposed by Gov Edgar–the Property Tax Extension Limitation Act. As I recall, the law prohibits non-home rule units (eg school districts) from levying more than a 3% increase over what they received in property tax dollars last year.

    Additionally, there are statutory levy limits (in the form of percentages of equalized assessed value) that were in place before the Edgar’s law passed. However, these weren’t sufficient to restrain local government levies. Local governments were taking advantage of rising property values (and assessed values) by levying the maximum percentage of much higher assessed values.

    The 3% limitation of annual levy increases was a carefully considered policy change that limited local government and school district spending. It provides some room for school districts to pay for the inevitable increases in costs (wages, energy, supplies) due to inflation and labor contracts.

    I suspect Rauner didn’t examine existing laws or talk to any school district officials or state legislators before he proposed the “freeze” concept. It sounds more like an election year slogan quickly proposed as a bullet point in a campaign office, in order to take advantage of taxpayers’ unhappiness over having to write that check. The timing seems directed towards Cook County, whose second installment bills are due August 1st.


  20. - Jimmy - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 11:02 am:

    Madison - “Keep in mind that one could freeze the levy, the rate or the assessment level folks (all 3?).”

    Freezing the levy is the only way to cap property taxes. If had a nickle for every local elected official who tells voters that they “did not raise property taxes” meaning their rates while, at the same time, voting for higher annual levies, I’d be a millionaire…freezing levies is the only way to freeze/control property tax increases.


  21. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 11:08 am:

    voters hatred of property taxes

    Nonsense. Voters don’t want their property taxes higher than the perceived value of the property that is being taxed. Your statement is nonsense and foolish and insulting.

    What happens if you don’t pay your property taxes? You lose your property! In what way is that good government? Suppose you live in a South Cook village where your neighborhood value has dropped substantially over the past decade? The schools aren’t any good. Have you seen what someone in that area have to pay in property taxes? It is completely untethered to the reality of the value of that property.

    And if they don’t pay it - they lose it?

    Your attack against Illinoisans who don’t want higher property taxes is based on a horrible stereotype that is just mean and stupid. Worse, it is completely political without a wisp of thoughtfulness.


  22. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 11:10 am:

    Proposition 13 light.


  23. - Madison - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 11:11 am:

    Jim thats an opinion. There is more than one way to do it. Many of these taxing bodies are at the top of their tax rates and only recieve increases based on rising property values. Ask any senior and they will tell you that assessment freeze is a pretty effective way of achieving a tax break. Home rule communities are the problem in my area, PTELL may be a factor, and arguably Rauner could extend PTELL to all counties. That alone would help.


  24. - Madison - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 11:14 am:

    Vanilla hit the nail on the head, as itconcerns frustration anyway. Taxpayers realize eventually that nobody owns anything…that we just purchase the right to pay taxes on prperty.


  25. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 11:30 am:

    just be 65 and make under 55,000. don`t affect me


  26. - Jimmy - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 11:32 am:

    VM and Madison - I agree and also think that high property taxes was Detroit’s main insolvency problem. Skyrocketing property taxes fully funded the pensions but completely eroded property values and, ultimately, Detroit’s tax base so a BK was unavoidable because the town was simply bleed dry. From a practical perspective, who will pay $10K in property taxes on a home worth $50,000? Those that do will also be living around others willing to let the government take their $50K house (after a drawn out tax sale process) - this happened in Detroit and because property taxes remained high, even though property values plummeted to record lows, investors stayed away.


  27. - walker - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 11:35 am:

    Rauner would never have the power, under any reasonable scenario, to actually freeze property taxes. No governor would.

    Another bait and switch with something that sounds great but simply could not occur? While using it as a cover for less palatable plans that could?

    Wow.


  28. - olddog - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 11:41 am:

    What Precinct Captain said.

    Maybe it’s Rauner’s idea of how to “fix” the public schools. Deprive them of revenue so they can’t keep up their test scores (link below to see how that works in Philadelphia), wait for Common Core testing to kick in, close more public schools and open more charters so Rauner’s hedge fund cronies can make a tidy profit.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/07/why-poor-schools-cant-win-at-standardized-testing/374287/


  29. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    “- Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 11:30 am:

    just be 65 and make under 55,000. don`t affect me”

    What a wonderfully selfish view of citizenship. I got news for you, it affects all of us directly or indirectly.


  30. - Madison - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 11:51 am:

    Jimmy the tax rate skyrockets in places like detroit because nobody pays. With an unlimited levy, when prperty values are low, and few pay, yes it skyrockets.


  31. - A guy... - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 11:58 am:

    If you’re out there listening, property taxes are a white hot issue. Talk to folks who are within 15 years of a normal retirement age (65+) and they are already lamenting that they won’t be able to afford where they currently live. They’re sad and resentful about it. That’s the environment we live in these days. Can’t read Zorn anymore. Didn’t read him here. Sorry if I come across less informed on this topic because of my refusal to read that part. I know him. I despise him. There’s a foundation to journalism that he’s never possessed. Never will.


  32. - Jimmy - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 12:03 pm:

    Madison - if “nobody” paid their property taxes, how did did provide, albeit crappy, any services and fully fund their pensions? Insolvency and BK would have happened very quickly if “nobody” paid. Most people in Detroit are paying property taxes but I agree with you that many are gaming the system because it makes financial sense (in their minds) for them to do so because their property values are so low. For many others, it made financial sense to simply sell before the real SHTF and move to the suburbs. This was first step towards Detroit’s demise.


  33. - Been There - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 12:04 pm:

    I guess Rauner’s position at least goes along with his stance against shifting the pension costs to the locals. If the schools couldn’t raise property taxes and had to help pay pension costs for the teachers who knows what would happen.
    But for me its another reason to not have property tax caps


  34. - drew - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 12:18 pm:

    For those who think their property taxes are too high, or not a good value, why not vote for some different local elected officials? If your schools are bad and they cost too much, and most people in your community agree, wouldn’t there be enough support to elect some school board members to reform and make some cuts?


  35. - Madison - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 12:19 pm:

    Jim its an equation.
    As less folks pay taxes, and nobody bids at the tax sale, those properties revert. The result is a deflationarynspiral as those propertys drag down the values of the remainder spiral downward. Yes, less people pay taxes.


  36. - Mittuns - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 12:21 pm:

    And younger people, the lucky few who have a job and can afford a house, are again going to be left holding the bag.

    Thanks again, baby boomers.


  37. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 12:33 pm:

    =Well Plutocrat, Chicago also funds (is supposed to fund) its teacher’s pensions. That’s why it looks lopsided.=

    #Jimbo- you can continue to operate that Chicago was funding it’s own pension system but the fact of the matter is that is untrue. First, under Daley they quit making the required contributions on a regular basis and, instead, used the money to by piece with the CTU (significant pay increases and under funding the pension. Sound familiar?). Second, while Chicago is a major economic driver for the entire state they received a disproportionate share of education funding. If you look at their poverty and special ed numbers (just two of multiple areas) you can see how the numbers do not match up. Changes in the early 2000’s to the way poverty is calculated and funded trhough the state aide formula continued to push big money their way to the detriment of the rest of the state. The disproportionate funding was one way that the state was defacto funding the CPS pension. After hearing how Chicago was funding their pensions and they were in good shape I, like many non CPS education professionals, was shocked to hear that their pension system was introuble as well until I did a little research.


  38. - Jimmy - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 12:34 pm:

    A Guy - I agree with you you on how important an issue this is and your insight above is terrific…but I disagree with you about Zorn!


  39. - plutocrat03 - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 12:39 pm:

    Chicago also funds (is supposed to fund)

    - They did not fund their pensions as promised
    - There are many communities who get less than 20% funding for their educational needs from Springfield. Who pays the pensions is part of the difference, but not all of it.
    - Chicago/Cook property taxes for education are far lower than the surrounding counties. Man up and pay to have the kids educated.


  40. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 12:41 pm:

    ==What happens if you don’t pay your property taxes? You lose your property! In what way is that good government?==

    Why is it bad government? That a citizen is expected to pay his or her taxes and that there are consequences to not doing so sounds like pretty good government to me. Our system only works to the extent that citizens obey the rules. When they don’t they deserve to be punished.


  41. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 12:44 pm:

    Property-tax relief has been the siren song of state politicians forever simply because they really can’t do much about it.

    Outside of the city, if you don’t pay for what it perceived to be “good” school districts, just watch what happens to your property values. Any Realtor will tell you that.


  42. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 12:51 pm:

    Wordslinger– you are right in the money. The politicians talk property tax relief while making it nearly impossible for local taxing bodies to reduce the local tax burden. As schools lose statutorily mandated state funding the burden is pushed onto local property taxes. Thus, talking reduction while taking steps to ensure that it does not happen or even cause an increase.


  43. - A guy... - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 12:52 pm:

    ==Jimmy - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 12:34 pm:

    A Guy - I agree with you you on how important an issue this is and your insight above is terrific…but I disagree with you about Zorn!===

    Fair enough.


  44. - Anon - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 1:08 pm:

    Rauner’s freeze is demagoguer — not a workable plan — unless the real goal is to win the election, not to prevent property taxes from ever going up again without referendum.


  45. - Steve Reick - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 4:29 pm:

    == Property-tax relief has been the siren song of state politicians forever simply because they really can’t do much about it. ==

    It’s been the siren song because it’s easy to say they’re going to do something about it while at the same time constantly shoving mandates onto local governments that have to be paid for with property taxes. Property owners then blame the messenger.

    In 1980, Massachusetts passed a property tax cap of 2½% of FMV. The State Assembly voted overwhelmingly against it, the measure was then put forth as a ballot measure and passed 59%-41%. That shows how out of touch state lawmakers were, and they’re just as out of touch here in Illinois today.

    Property tax relief has to begin in Springfield, and it won’t begin until taxpayers push back and demand a cap on taxes. Taxpayers have learned to live with less, the State must do so as well. “A Guy” is right, this is a white hot issue and it’s going to come to a head, and soon.


  46. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 8:20 pm:

    How does a guy who chooses to pay property taxes on nine properties, including a RANCH in Montana, complain about property taxes?

    And how did Quinn let the opportunity pass to call shenanigans for Rauner fraudulently claiming homestead exemptions on three properties??

    You can’t win if you don’t play!!!


  47. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 9:37 pm:

    boomer`s are freezing tax`s daily,rauner`s plan is working


  48. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 9:42 pm:

    - “There are many communities who get less than 20% funding for their educational needs from Springfield.”

    Pluto, are you suggesting the state needs to step up and send more money to New Trier?


  49. - drew - Thursday, Jul 24, 14 @ 12:00 am:

    =are you suggesting the state needs to step up and send more money to New Trier? =

    absolutely! why, i heard tell that some saps in the suburbs are trying to falsify their residency records just to try and get their children into chicago public schools because the conditions at new trier are so deplorable


  50. - alleycat - Thursday, Jul 24, 14 @ 10:26 pm:

    Every time the GOP finds another greedy candidate to try to fool voters with their “fuzzy” math, they find another woman who doesn’t know what she’s talking about. “Magical powers”, indeed. Do they think we just fell off the turnip truck? I don’t know where the GOP finds these women, but they certainly are not a credit to our gender.


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        * US judge names monitor of IDOT hiring
        * Radio host convicted of alleged $10 million fraud
        * Illinois gov's race focuses on women voters
        * Judge rules against Ameren in power line dispute
        * Feminist Steinem endorses Illinois governor
        * Madigan, Rauner spend big on Illinois House races
        * Cockroach visits Chicago's City Council chambers
        * Chicago police to check bags on transit system
        * Toddler taken from family found in Illinois
        * Man, 2-year-old boy killed by truck in Bloomington

        * Feminist Gloria Steinem endorses Quinn for governor
        * Madigan, Rauner spend big on Illinois House races
        * Officials rethink early vote-counting after Madigan ruling
        * Minimum wage increase supporters urge early voting
        * Sun-Times political reporter resigns following Rauner complaint
        * Minimum wage hike supporters urge early voting
        * Federal judge orders court-appointed monitor for IDOT hiring
        * Rep. Raymond Poe to undergo stem cell transplant
        * Bill Clinton campaigns for Quinn, Durbin
        * Quinn, Rauner spar over jobs, taxes

        * Regulators close National Republic Bank of Chicago
        * Rauner, the reporter, the Sun-Times and 'appearance of impropriety'
        * Chicago police to check bags at CTA stations
        * Shire CEO Ornskov 'dumbfounded' by collapse of AbbVie deal
        * Tests show child in Chicago does not have Ebola


        * Back to the past with mayor’s move
        * Illinois needs better way to deal with terminally ill inmates
        * At panel on school closings, board acknowledges more planning needed
        * Marina City residents reminded to watch their step during Wallenda’s walk
        * Republican senators question Quinn’s IDOT scandal response
        * Child who became ill on plane tests negative for Ebola
        * Tollway might permanently lower cost to open I-Pass account
        * Killer gets 27 years for throwing woman out 3rd-floor window
        * CPS wants to delay new standardized test, even though state already has said 'no'
        * Father Bob Botthof, teacher who became priest after losing wife, dies at 85


        * FBI searches Chinatown restaurants, at least 3 owned by famed chef Tony Hu
        * Former radio host convicted of mortgage fraud
        * Des Plaines man who tried to hire killers to burn wife, friends alive gets 17 years
        * $5 million bond in vandalism of Lombard synagogue
        * Man charged with DUI in 2013 crash that killed woman, 78, in Aurora
        * Craft brewery on tap for Oak Park?
        * Police to screen CTA train passengers for explosives


        * Listen to State Week - October 24, 2014
        * 2014 Election Coverage: Citizens, here's your homework!
        * 2 dead, including gunman, in high school shooting
        * Prosecutors want more of indicted police commander’s 'bad acts' in court
        * Prosecutors want more of indicted police commander's 'bad acts' in court
        * Bedrock 66: Charlie Parr Plays Springfield Friday
        * Oberweis Would Back Federal Same Sex Marriage Law
        * Wild Bison Return To IL
        * Scary Story: The Diviner by Susan Vondrak
        * Artist Profile: Local Troubadour Tom Irwin


        * Feminist Gloria Steinem endorses Quinn for governor
        * Madigan, Rauner spend big on Illinois House races
        * Our Opinion: Bell, Manar, Davidsmeyer endorsed in state legislative races
        * Craig Burns: Honesty, integrity in great supply at CWLP
        * E.J. Dionne: Ebola, pandering and courage
        * Esther Cepeda: Benefits of closing the word gap
        * Officials rethink early vote-counting after Madigan ruling
        * Our Opinion: Frerichs has the expertise to be Illinois treasurer
        * Robert Kaestner: Good education policy is good health policy
        * Eugene Robinson: Warren makes the case for a presidential run


        * High school football scoreboard, Oct. 24, 2014
        * SportsTalk 10-24-14
        * LIVE! Pink Night
        * SIC to host Heritage Festival
        * Fundraiser benefits Clothes for Kids initiative
        * O'Toole to start Saturday
        * Film features past, present and future of Southern Illinois food system
        * Event to address employee wellness
        * Blotter
        * St. Jacob trustee calls for investigation over sizzle in former mayor's spending


        * Elgin commissioner's Facebook post gets heat from Elgin police
        * Man arrested in shooting of California officers
        * Elgin residents give ideas for 2015 budget
        * 57th District candidates Nekritz, Grossi on opposite ends of pension reform, income tax
        * Judge names monitor for IDOT hiring

        * Patrick Cannon defense strategy rare but n...
        * Feds fine Jesse Jackson Jr.'s campaign com...
        * Ex-Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. faces sen...
        * Representative Jan Schakowsky Sends Letter...
        * Rep. candidate pushes to uphold marriage b...
        * Reps. Schakowsky and Waxman Introduce Bill...
        * Statement by Representative Jan Schakowsky...
        * U.S. House Passes Resolution Condemning An...
        * FAA Rejects Call For New O'Hare Noise Stud...
        * Representatives Quigley, Duckworth, Schako...

        * Republican Senate candidate Oberweis favor......
        * Republican Senate candidate Oberweis favor......
        * Republican Senate candidate Oberweis favor......
        * Republican Senate candidate Oberweis favor......
        * Republican Senate candidate Oberweis favor......

        * U.S. Senator Mark Kirk to talk with Triton......

        * Bag Man In Redflex Bribery Scandal Will Plead Guilty
        * SportsMonday: Brandon Marshall Is Unacceptable
        * The Week In Chicago Rock
        * Durbin, Oberweis To Debate Tonight
        * First-Time Candidate Seeks GOP Incumbent's Defeat In 20th State House District
        * Mo Khan, Democratic Candidate For 20th District State Representative
        * The College Football Report: Area Police Top Poll
        * The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #23: It's All Cutler's Fault
        * Durbin, Oberweis debate Tea Party, immigration, veterans, and gay marriage
        * Illinois judicial candidate encounters signature snafu when attempting to vote


        * Rauner rips Quinn on IDOT patronage oversight
        * Governor Quinn Announces Winners of 2014 Illinois Export Awards - State’s Trade Programs Help Companies Increase Global Sales
        * New Ad: Labor leader backs Rauner
        * Jewish Newspapers Endorse Rauner for Governor
        * Statement from the Illinois Department of Public Health and Chicago Ebola Resource Network




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