Austin Berg News

Home is where the hurt is: How property taxes are crushing Illinois' middle class

By Austin Berg | Dec 21, 2015

Illinoisans’ property taxes are going up while salaries are stagnant at best

Meet the politicians getting rich off Chicago's property tax scheme

By Austin Berg | Oct 20, 2015

Flawed property valuations and the process required to fix them are a cash cow for law firms, including those of House Speaker Mike Madigan, Chicago Alderman Ed Burke and Illinois Senate President John Cullerton.

Fitch cuts Illinois credit rating, cites budget gridlock, massive debt and sluggish growth

By Austin Berg | Oct 20, 2015

Illinois’ general-obligation bonds are rated just three notches above junk status, thanks to a credit-rating downgrade on Oct. 19 from Fitch Ratings.

Illinois state government takes in more tax dollars per person than every neighboring state

By Austin Berg | Oct 13, 2015

Illinois collects more in taxes per person than every neighboring state, according to new research from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation.

Illinois pays millions in pension benefits to the dead

By Austin Berg | Sep 15, 2015

The Illinois Supreme Court ruled in May that pension benefits flowing to government retirees can never be “diminished or impaired.” A new investigation into state and local pension records reveals this ironclad protection can extend beyond the grave. From 2010 to 2014, 11 of Illinois’ 15 largest pension funds paid out $2.2 million in pension benefits to more than 1,000 dead people.

Cruel summer: Mass layoffs hit 2,100 Illinois workers in August

By Austin Berg | Sep 8, 2015

Story CopyIllinois employers announced mass layoffs affecting 2,112 workers in August, according to a monthly report from the state’s Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, or DCEO.

Tax season isn’t over: Illinoisans will work 120 days to pay for government in 2015

By Austin Berg | Apr 16, 2015

Most Americans think of tax day as April 15. But the tax day that really matters is Tax Freedom Day: April 24. This is the day in 2015 when U.S. workers will have collectively earned enough to foot the nation’s tax bills. Illinoisans, however, will still be working for government nearly a week later.

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