An “in-between” tax rate is coming to Illinois for 2017 earnings. There was a tax increase in the state and thus the Illinois Department of Revenue calculated a “blended” rate of 4.35% following an increase of the basic rate (in July) from 3.75 to 4.95%. According to Terry Horstman – spokesman for the Department of Revenue – this figure is based on the amount of days under the two different figures. Tax forms will comprise the blended rate facilitating the process for taxpayers. The rate is for income from January-December 2017. The increase in tax rates is in order to raise over $5.1 billion for the 2018 fiscal year.
There are potentially more tax increases in the pipeline too that will go toward recreation programs. With a tax property increase the Chicago Park District believes they will get closer to their proposed $462.3 million budget for park expansion and “special recreation programming” and sites. This would only cost the average homeowner an additional $6.48 and would generate a staggering $7.6 million in revenue.
When it comes to wind energy firms in the state, the taxing model there has been “touted as one of the best in the country, bringing in $30.4 million in property taxes in 2016, according to economic experts.” Whereas it’s common for most of the nation to implore a very patchy system, Illinois has a much more “consistent” one which began in 2007 after its legislature found its system of property tax assessments was so problematic and confusing when it came to wind companies.
A serious renovation has just begun at Humboldt Park. Piet Oudolf – who was behind the very successful upgrade of Millennium Park’s Lurie Garden – was chosen by the Chicago Park District, the Chicago Park Foundation and the Garden Conservancy to lead the Jens Jensen Formal Garden restoration project. This will involve an overhaul of the decaying infrastructure and a re-invigoration of the design features, paralleling Jensen’s infamous Prairie style. Part of what Oudolf will incorporate is a “durable” design, containing Chicago’s seasons. The Hitchcock Design Group has been commissioned as design coordinator, so that the end result will be the creation of a “community of plants that work well together and look beautiful throughout the seasons.”
For those who want to enjoy the fun parts of Chicago’s parks, the summer is the perfect time to start. Earlier this month saw the start of Night Out in the Parks, marking Ellis Park’s fifth summer season of performances and interactive shows. Featuring around 1,200 events, there will be something for each of Chicago’s 77 community areas. And within the bounds of community spirit, 125 local artists and art organizations will be participating in these shows, most of which are free.
Meanwhile, to mark its 90th birthday, representatives from the Chicago Park District were at Grant Park turning on the Buckingham Fountain. Participating in the celebratory event were both the Brookfield Zoo and the Shedd Aquarium. In addition, those who want to memorialize the 90th birthday forever, can purchase a 1,000 pound chunk of marble for a mere $22,000….plus $299 shipping! Get in touch with Stuart Grannen of Architectural Artifacts for more details.