September 3, 2014 - 3:06pm


September 3, 2014

Some recent progress has been made when it comes to reducing the number of local governments in Illinois.


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August 27, 2014 - 10:41am


August 27, 2014

Businesses do not always pay their bills immediately, and neither do governments. Delays of a month or two are standard practice, although prompt payment is preferable to take advantage of discounts, avoid penalties and maintain access to the largest possible pool of vendors.

Since FY2009, long payment delays by the State of Illinois have been a highly visible sign of the State’s financial distress. With revenues under pressure due to the Great Recession, the State also faced growth in statutorily required pension contributions.


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August 26, 2014 - 2:30pm


August 26, 2014

The difference between a pension fund’s assets and accrued liabilities is known as the unfunded liability. The unfunded actuarial accrued liability (UAAL) is calculated by subtracting the actuarial value of the assets from the actuarial accrued liability (AAL) of each fund.


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August 22, 2014 - 9:14am


August 22, 2014

Unincorporated areas lie outside municipal boundaries. The residents and businesses located in these areas are usually provided municipal services such as police protection and building code enforcement by county government or special districts. Because unincorporated areas may be scattered throughout a county’s territory, the provision of these services by counties has been inefficient and costly. Annexation of unincorporated areas to neighboring municipalities is often proposed as a solution to this problem. Cook County is currently engaged in a multi-year exploration of ways to encourage annexation of unincorporated areas to neighboring municipalities to reduce budgetary pressures and improve the efficiency of municipal service delivery in these areas.


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August 20, 2014 - 2:28pm


August 20, 2014

Public Act 98-0641, the City of Chicago’s pension reform bill, originally called for an increase in property taxes to help fund the Municipal Employees’ Annuity and Benefit Fund (MEABF) and the Laborers’ and Retirement Board Employees’ Annuity and Benefit Fund (LABF) of Chicago. However, in response to a lack of support for the property tax provision of the bill, it was revised to remove the property tax language. As a result, the City of Chicago had to find an alternative source of revenue to provide much needed additional funding


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August 19, 2014

Crain's Chicago Business

Crain's Chicago Business
August 19, 2014

This article discusses the 2015 Cook County Health and Hospitals System’s preliminary budget which is based on a projected increase in CountyCare membership to about 150,000 members from about 100,000 in FY2014. The Civic Federation urged the Health and Hospitals System to develop a multi-year financial plan that accounts for the increased population and related program costs.

Nominations due September 26, 2014

September 26, 2014 (All day)

Nominations due September 26, 2014
September 26, 2014 (All day)

The Civic Federation and the Motorola Solutions Foundation, the charitable arm of Motorola Solutions, Inc., are pleased to announce a call for nominations for the 23rd Annual Motorola Solutions Foundation Excellence in Public Service Award.

August 14, 2014 - 12:55pm


August 14, 2014

In the coming months, the State of Illinois will conduct a revenue volatility study to establish a basis for an adequate rainy day fund balance to protect the State from future economic downturns and other revenue variances. This analysis of historic changes in State revenues was mandated as part of the budget legislation passed for FY2015 and must be completed by the end of the current calendar year.

As discussed here previously, the State lacks a true rainy day fund, despite a law approved in 2004 intended to force the State to stash away surplus revenues at the close of each fiscal year.


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August 14, 2014

Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago Sun-Times
August 14, 2014

This article discusses the Civic Federation's Estimated Full Value of Real Property in Cook County report, released August 14. The full market value of real estate in Cook County declined by 6.4% in tax assessment year 2012 to approximately $414.4 billion. This sixth consecutive year of decline resulted in the lowest estimated value of Cook County real estate since 2001.

August 14, 2014 - 8:09am


August 14, 2014

The Civic Federation today released its annual estimate of the full value of real estate in Chicago and the Cook County suburbs. After the rate of decline in estimated property values slowed for the County as a whole in 2011, the rate of decline increased again in 2012. Tax year 2012 is the most recent year for which data are available.


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