Have questions about your property taxes? Please join State Rep. Sheri Jesiel, Lake County Board Member Steve Carlson and local Township Assessor's to learn about the process for determining your property taxes and how to appeal if you believe you are being over-assessed. 

As her office begins issuing state income tax refunds, Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger urged taxpayers to register online to check the status of their refunds and sign up for text message and email payment notifications.

The easy-to-use Tax Refund Alert System allows taxpayers to visit myrefund.illinoiscomptroller.gov and enter their name and Social Security Number to see if the Comptroller's Office has processed their refund. Taxpayers also can enter an email address and phone number to receive a notification when the payment has been made.

In addition, Munger announced her office will include inserts with all tax refunds detailing where the State of Illinois spent $35.6 billion in 2015, information on the state's bill backlog, and other tools to help taxpayers learn about state and local finances. Those who receive their tax refunds through Direct Deposit may view the tax insert digitally if they register for the Tax Refund Alert System.
Opiate possessions are growing, both in Illinois and across the U.S., at the same time as the taxpayer impact of ‘tough-on-crime’ policies is becoming more apparent. Some Illinois law enforcement agencies are moving toward a normalized avenue of station adjustments in cases of persons who voluntarily surrender to authorities. In many cases, persons admitted to this station-adjustment avenue are persons who do not have a criminal record and who appear to be people who would potentially benefit from drug treatment.

Under this station adjustment platform, people addicted to opiates – typically heroin – are allowed to present themselves at a police station for rapid diagnosis and transport to a drug treatment center. Persons who admit their status as addicts can even bring their drugs and paraphernalia to the police station. If they are granted this amnesty adjustment, their goods will be disposed of and they may not face a charge for drug possession. The police departments of the Illinois municipalities of Dixon, Dwight, Naperville, Pontiac, Princeton, and Rolling Meadows have started, or will soon start, an opiate station adjustment program. The overall model has been adopted by approximately 85 police departments in other U.S. states. Not all Illinois police departments have adopted this station-adjustment model.
The College of Lake County will host a regional college fair from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 15. High school students and their parents can learn about nearly 150 colleges and universities in one location at CLC’s flagship campus at 19351 W. Washington St., Grayslake. The free fair will be in the physical education center, Building 7. Parking will be available in lots 2 or 3 on the north side of the CLC campus, closest to the Washington Street and Lancer Lane entrance. College financial aid information sessions, presented by staff members from the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, will be in Room 706 of the physical education center from 6:30 to 7 p.m. and from 7:15 to 7:45 p.m. For more, call (847) 543-2090.
Illinois House Republicans, furious about the lack of a state budget and seemingly empty session calendar thus far this year, challenged House Democrat leadership yesterday to not adjourn as scheduled for the entire month of March. The motion, despite being completely in line with the rules, was ruled out of order with Democrat leadership scurrying quickly from the chamber to prevent debate on the issue.

Do you agree with the House Republicans, given the challenges facing Illinois, that the legislature shouldn’t take a month long break during March? Click here to take the survey.
State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) reacted with outrage to more disingenuous action in the Illinois House today by pointing out its complete lack of compromise.

House Speaker Michael Madigan and Democratic Leaders again sought to pass legislation that would not end the budget crisis, but worsen it. The legislation offered, House Bills 2990 and 648, would add $2.4 billion to Illinois’ ever growing budget deficit. Despite a Republican motion to adjourn and return the next the day, session was then quickly adjourned by the Democratic Chair for the rest of the month, until April 4. The motion to continue session on Friday was ruled out order by the Chair, a direct violation of House Rule 66.

“The action in the House today was the most outrageous yet seen since the budget impasse started, even after the hyperbole of yesterday,” said Jesiel. “The bills offered today were put together at the last minute with no input from the Governor or any Republican. The $2.4 billion dollars that House Bills 2990 and 648 would add to our deficit is ridiculous when weighed against the 50,000 unpaid vouchers and backlog of $7.2 billion already sitting on the Comptroller’s desk.”
The announcement by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (DFPR) was made on Tuesday, February 23. DFPR is the entity that oversees the processes used to grant and renew licenses upon 1.4 million Illinois residents who are licensed to practice one or more of Illinois’ approximately 100 regulated professions.

Although precursors of Illinois’ professional licensing process have been in place since the time of Abraham Lincoln, up until recently the application for a new or renewed license was always performed on a paper form and the license was printed out on paper and sent to the professional. During a recent transition period, professionals could choose whether to apply and get licensed/relicensed electronically or through the traditional paper pathway. In a move that will lead to estimated savings of nearly $3 million over a five-year period, DFPR’s Secretary Bryan Schneider announced this week that the paper has been crumpled up. License renewal notices will no longer be sent out by mail. Remaining paper-license-holders are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Department’s online license renewal process, which is available here.
The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Mesirow Financial launched the James Tyree Emerging Business Leadership Award in 2012 in memory of Jim Tyree. Former Chairman and CEO of Mesirow Financial and Chairman of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce from 2007-2010.

The James Tyree Award was created to recognize and encourage local entrepreneurs and small businesses to continue to grow and create jobs for the Chicagoland region.

Award Criteria
The winner receives $50,000 in cash courtesy of Mesirow Financial and The PrivateBank, as well as valuable business consulting services from the Chicagoland Chamber.