Latest News

JOBS
·         EDGE tax credit overhaul gets Gov. Rauner’s signature.  Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation (HB 162) that overhauls the EDGE Tax Credit Program and provides much-needed transparency and taxpayer protections.

“The EDGE Tax Credit Program overhaul is a bipartisan job creation program that is innovative and competitive for businesses,” Gov. Rauner said. “This legislation is another tool to use in our quest to bring high-quality and good-paying jobs to Illinois.  It is crucial for the future success of our state that we make Illinois a more business friendly environment through pro-growth measures.”
                                                                                                                                                  
The EDGE tax credit program is a critical local economic development tool that incentivizes job creation, growth and competitiveness in the state. The new law extends the program until June 30, 2022.
YORKVILLE- State Representative Keith R. Wheeler (R-Oswego) held an informational seminar for Fox Valley homeowners at the Yorkville Public Library on Tuesday evening on the property tax assessment process and how to appeal your property taxes if you believe you may have been over-assessed. Representative Wheeler was joined by Kendall County Assessor Andy Nicoletti for the ninety-minute program. Over three hundred residents of Kane and Kendall County attended the seminar.

‘Skyrocketing property taxes are one of the issues that encouraged me to run for State Representative,” said Rep. Wheeler. “I hear from residents every day that the annual increase is driving them out of their homes and forcing them to relocate to states with lower costs. Seniors have felt the impact harder than most. I felt that it was vital to inform residents of the steps that can be taken through the appeals process to give them some relief.”

Due to the success of this seminar, Rep. Wheeler plans to host similar events in the future. Rep. Wheeler recommends that until future events can be planned, residents should reach out to their local township assessor to learn more about how they can appeal their property taxes. 
AMAZON.COM
·         Amazon urged to pick Illinois for its new headquarters.  The Seattle-based retailing giant Amazon has announced that it is running out of headquarters space in its current city and would like to open a second headquarters in a centralized U.S. location.  The second headquarters could contain as many as 50,000 workers, who would occupy a potential 8 million square feet of office space to be constructed for as much as $5 billion.  Amazon has cited good transportation, strong schools, and a tech-oriented workforce as elements in their decision. 

Amazon headquarters operations oversee the firm’s network of warehouses, transfer stations and delivery solutions for the firm’s hundreds of millions of customers worldwide.  Chicago, with the nation’s largest workforce skilled in logistics technology, would be highly suited to serve as Amazon’s choice.  Competition for the selection is expected to be heavy.    
State Representative Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego) joined a panel titled “Data Security: Who’s Responsible?” with Claire Gartland, Privacy and Public Policy Manager of Facebook and Tom Galvin of the Digital Citizens Alliance on September 12th at mHUB in the West Town neighborhood in Chicago.  CompTIA‘s Alexi Madon, who has testified at the State Capitol in Springfield on behalf of the tech industry regarding data policy, hosted the event and moderated the panel.  Panelists discussed who handles data and their role in keeping that data secure from the user to the provider to government regulators. 

Wheeler’s comments, which reflected his roles both as an IT specialist and as an Illinois State Representative, focused on finding a data policy balance that protects consumers without hampering innovation.  

From his legislator perspective, Wheeler noted that “Regulations should always be technology neutral – meaning they should not target any one specific technology since government shouldn’t be in the business of picking winners and losers.  In conjunction with that, security legislation should focus on consumer protection.”


YORKVILLE –State Representative Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego) invites local residents to attend an upcoming forum to educate and empower homeowners about the process for determining property taxes and how to appeal if they are being over-assessed, entitled “Understand & Learn How to Appeal Your Property Tax Assessment”.

The event will be held at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, September 19 at Yorkville Public Library’s Meeting Room, located at 902 Game Farm Road in Yorkville. The presentation will be given by Andy Nicoletti, the Chief County Assessment Official for Kendall County. The event is free and open to the public.

“We welcome every local homeowner to attend our property tax forum to learn about the process and get their questions answered,” Representative Wheeler said. “We are grateful that our local county assessor has agreed to offer this informational resource for area homeowners and property tax payers.”
BUDGET
·         Governor Rauner announces borrowing plan to pay down bill backlog.  After conducting a thorough review of the out-of-balance fiscal year 2018 budget passed by the General Assembly in July, Gov. Bruce Rauner announced Thursday that he intends to exercise borrowing authority to issue $6 billion in bonds to pay down a portion of the state’s bill backlog.

“Illinois has been deficit spending for many years, resulting in a huge unpaid bill backlog. The state has been, in effect, borrowing from local service providers, including nonprofits and small businesses, because it takes months for them to get paid,” Gov. Rauner said. “My preferred solution has always been for state government to reform its spending, and for a strong, competitive economy to grow family incomes faster than the cost of government.
BUDGET – EDUCATION FUNDING
·         Historic education funding reform passes.  The new school funding formula moves towards an “evidence-based” model based on practices followed in many other states.  Illinois’ 852 school districts will be given positive incentives to work hard to improve their students’ performances. The new formula is contained in SB 1947, as amended in the House.  Enactment of the measure followed up on two years of bipartisan negotiations between school advocates from both parties and was a response to the school funding discussion that took place during the summer of 2017.  

SB 1947 represents a compromise agreed to by the four legislative leaders and Governor Rauner.  Many of its individual features are not perfect from the standpoint of people who voted for the measure.  Other features are popular with many Illinois legislators and voters.  School mandates are reduced, and school management operational transparency is increased.  One feature of the reform bill creates a system of new Illinois income tax credits.  This new program is expected to leverage the donation of up to $100 million to scholarship funds to enable the enrollment of low and middle-income students in Illinois private schools.    Supporters see the bill as a way to move Illinois toward adequate school funding and to add serious budgeting for results. 

The House vote on SB 1947 on Monday, August 28, was 73-34-3.  The House’s three-fifths majority carried the bill over to the Senate for concurrence.  The Senate 38-13-4 concurrence vote sent the education funding reform package to Gov. Rauner for his signature on Thursday.