Brendan Bakala, Illinois Policy Institute News

East St. Louis police and fire pension fund crises risk state intervention

By Brendan Bakala, Illinois Policy Institute | May 4, 2018

East St. Louis’ police and fire pension funds experienced large funding shortfalls in 2016, putting the city at risk of revenue garnishment from the state comptroller’s office.

Madison County Board votes to have townships pay assessment costs

By Brendan Bakala, Illinois Policy Institute | Jan 31, 2018

Some Madison County townships could see their costs go up, which could drive up property taxes.

Belleville to consider $1.2 million property tax hike

By Brendan Bakala, Illinois Policy Institute | Dec 15, 2017

Belleville residents had the opportunity to sound off at a public hearing regarding a proposed 11.98 percent increase in the city’s property tax levy.

House passes phony tax freeze, bill dies in Senate

By Brendan Bakala, Illinois Policy Institute | Nov 13, 2017

The politically motivated freeze would not address key cost drivers or protect Illinois homeowners from property tax increases.

Wave of tax and fee increases sweeping Illinois

By Brendan Bakala, Illinois Policy Institute | Oct 17, 2017

Cities and villages across the state are raising taxes or implementing new ones for a variety of functions, from attracting a fast-food restaurant to catching up on rising pension costs.

The shrinking Metro-East

By Brendan Bakala, Illinois Policy Institute | Apr 11, 2017

Recently released census data reveal that St. Clair and Madison counties saw combined population losses of more than 1,600 people due to out-migration to other states.

Illinois workers' compensation rules cost taxpayers nearly $1 billion a year

By Brendan Bakala, Illinois Policy Institute | Apr 10, 2017

State and local costs for workers’ compensation are out of line with what other states pay.

The Illinois state senators who pledged not to raise income taxes

By Brendan Bakala, Illinois Policy Institute | Jan 25, 2017

Pressure is mounting on lawmakers in Springfield to go along with a “compromise” budget plan that would raise income taxes on every Illinoisan. Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, and Minority Leader Christine Radogno, R-Lemont, have thrown their support behind a proposed budget plan that would raise state income taxes to 4.95 percent from the current level of 3.75 percent.

Illinois ends 2016 with $11 billion in unpaid bills

By Brendan Bakala, Illinois Policy Institute | Jan 2, 2017

Though spending on government-worker salaries and pensions has grown at a rapid rate, many service providers and grant recipients are still awaiting payment.

Property taxes mount on 'Home Alone' house

By Brendan Bakala, Illinois Policy Institute | Dec 6, 2016

2016 was a tough year for the owners of 671 Lincoln Ave. The red-brick, Georgian house in Winnetka, Ill., was made famous by the 1990 Christmas hit, “Home Alone,” but in real life, it’s not crowbar-wielding burglars coming for the family’s money, but the Cook County government.

Illinois workforce shrinks by 33,600 in July

By Brendan Bakala, Illinois Policy Institute | Aug 23, 2016

Illinois’ preliminary jobs report shows the unemployment rate dropped to 5.8 percent in July due to large numbers of residents dropping out of the labor force for the third consecutive month.

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