Thursday, August 16, 2007

Kevin Joyce Delivers for Working People

Illinois State Representative Kevin Joyce (D) 35th Legislative District is a working public servant. Joyce gets things done for the working people of his Legislative District, which includes Chicago and south suburbs, and for all the people of Illinois. Here's a bit on identity theft from his Home Page:

Recently, Illinoisans have been assaulted with more taxes and more burdens placed upon the shoulders of working families. Speaker Madigan is the most effective elected official in Illinois and it was a crime to see how he was treated by political hacks at the Democrat Day State Fair, yesterday. No one has done more to help ease the burdens on Illinois tax-payers than Speaker Mike Madigan. You did not hear Madigan jackasss out some Elvis to take a shot at the Bollywood Governor or ComEd's best pal Emil Jones. Too much Class! Working Class!

Kevin Joyce and so many other effective public servants have been hard at work trying to ease those burdens. Here's an e-mail that I received from Representative Joyce that details the work that he did during the foolishly long budget session:

August 13, 2007

Dear Pat:

For the last 14 months I have been working with my colleagues in the House of Representatives and the State Senate to deal with the outrageous property tax hikes proposed by the Cook County Assessors Office. I am happy to inform you that both chambers have passed legislation that would extend and increase the property tax cap bill which the General Assembly enacted a few years ago.

House Bill 664, of which I am a chief sponsor, will not only extend “the 7% solution” for an additional three years, but also increases the exemption cap from the previous level of $20,000 to $33,000 in the first year, $26,000 for the second year and $20,000 for the third year. These exemptions are not contingent on household income.

During the negotiations of this bill, I was able to input addresses randomly chosen in the 35th district to determine what impact the different cap levels would have on our taxes. Under the existing language of HB664, bases on 100 different addresses, the average property tax incase in the district is less that 2%. Without this legislation, the same addresses would have increased an average of 45%.

Provided that the Governor acts quickly to sign House Bill 664 into law, there will be sufficient time to implement the relief provided in the legislation for upcoming property tax bills issued by the County Assessor.

This tax relief package, while helpful, is not the end to the property tax issue that has been raising concern among taxpayers. Therefore, the bill also creates a Property Tax Reform & Relief Task Force to make recommendations directed at comprehensive tax reform and prevent the recurrence of this problem.

There are several other important exemptions created by this bill specifically impacting senior citizens, veterans, and families of fallen rescue workers that I have outlined below. Should you have any questions regarding this or other issues, please feel free to contact my Mt. Greenwood Service Office at (773) 298-0035.


Kevin C. Joyce

Exemptions Created or Enhanced by HB 664

1. General Homestead Exemption – Increase from $5,000 to $5,500 for 2008; increase to $6,000 in 2009 and thereafter. The last increase was in 2004.

2. Senior Homestead Exemption ­­- Increase from $3,500 to $4,000 in 2008 and thereafter. The last increase was in 2004.

3. Disabled Homestead Exemption (New) – Creates a $2,000 exemption for disabled homeowners.

4. Returning Veteran Homestead Exemption (New) – Provides a one-time $5,000 exemption, available for the year in which they return from duty.

5. Disabled Veteran Homestead Exemption (New) – Gives a $2,500 exemption for veterans who are 50% to 75% disabled; $5,000 for 75% to 100% disabled.

6. Senior Freeze – Removes the graduated exemption between $45,000 and $50,000; the maximum income will be $55,000 beginning in 2008 and thereafter. The last increase was 2006.

7. Circuit Breaker – Increase each income threshold by $1,000. The last increase was in 2006.

8. Municipal abatement – A municipality or county may abate some or all of its own taxes levied upon property owned by the surviving spouse of a police officer/firefighter/rescue worker killed in the line of duty.

That's a good example of the work done for tax-payers, Kevin and so many other of our elected officials, Republican and Democrat. We spend a good deal of our time grousing about the ineffective and self-congratulatory mole-hills piled by the crumbs with their snoots in the back pockets of some in the media and never hear about the people, like Mary Flowers, Jim Brosnahan, Ed Maloney, Kevin McCarthy, Jim Durkin, Dan Cronin, and so many others.

Working people do have elected officials wortking very hard for all of us. Let me know about effective public servants in your neck of the woods.

Next week: Illinois State Representative Mary Flowers - Helps Give Kids the Tools needed to succeed through Boxing!

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