Metro East Area News Briefs

Chronicle Media

Bob Daiber
(Photo courtesy of Daiber for Governor)

Daiber calls for progressive state income tax

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bob Daiber of Marine, Jan. 4., formally called for implementation of a graduated state income tax in Illinois – a step the he acknowledged would requiring amending the state constitution.

Under Daiber’s proposal, income in Illinois would be taxed as follows:

  • Income from $2,500 to $24,999 – 1 percent
  • Income from $25,000 to $44,999 – 2.25 percent
  • Income from $45,000 to $149,999 – 3.75 percent
  • Income from $150,000 to $999,999 – 4.95 percent
  • Income over $1 million – 6 percent

Illinois currently has a flat income tax rates, which currently stands at 4.95 percent for individuals, families filing jointly, and trusts.

Daiber also released his Illinois 1040 returns for tax years 2012 through 2016; showing he and wife Karen owed a total of $5,437 on $158,113 in income during 2016. (The family received a $3,328 property tax credit).

By comparison, incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner declared $91 million in state taxable income on his most recent return.  J.B. Pritzker, generally considered the leader in the current field of Democratic candidates for governor, declared a total of $15 million in taxable income.  Follow Democratic contender Christopher Kennedy declared $1.2 million.

Moreover, Daiber said, other candidates for governor filed more complicated returns; allowing them to benefit from tax breaks. Pritzker’s most recent return shows $13.2 million of his income came from trusts; which are taxed at a lower rate than corporations.

Pritzker paid no state income tax in 2014. Another Democratic hopefully, State Sen. Daniel Biss has released returns showing that in two of the last five years, he did not owe any federal income tax.

“This is a true Illinois 1040 tax return, just like ordinary working families throughout the state file,” Bob Daiber said of his tax return. “It’s not muddied up with trusts or holding company dividends.”

Edwardsville approves backyard chicken coops

The suburban agriculture trend sweeping Greater St. Louis has come to Metro East. The Edwardsville City Council, Jan. 2, approved a pilot program that will allow up to 20 specially residents to keep up to six chickens each on their properties.

The chickens must be kept in coops with four to 50 square feet of space per bird and a maximum height of 7 feet. They must also be confined to backyards and not allowed to roam. The city council plans to review the program after two years and then perhaps authorize up to 20 more chicken keeping licenses.

Several St. Louis area municipalities have authorized chicken keeping over recent years, including Frontenac — one of the wealthiest communities in the U.S.

Madison steps up building code enforcement

In an effort to crack down on poorly maintained properties, Madison County has announced a continuing program of random building code enforcement. A sweep of properties in the State Park area during August resulted in the issuance of 88 citations for violations.  

A follow-up visit by inspectors during November produced more. A similar inspection in the Forest Homes section of Cottage Hills area last month resulted in 30.  

Violations have included junk and debris, tall grass and weeds, unlicensed and inoperable vehicles, illegal burning, keeping of chickens and horses without special use permit and general property maintenance violations.

Scott airman named among Air Force’s top enlisted

The Air Force Association has named Senior Airman Brittany Fuentes, an Air Mobility Command collections requirements manager at Scott Air Force, one of its 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2017. The honor is bestowed annually to recognize the top dozen enlisted personnel in U.S. Air Force.

Nominees are judged on leadership ability, job performance, community involvement, and self-improvement efforts.

Fuentes was stationed in Turkey during 2016 when a faction of the Turkish Armed Forces attempted a coup against President Erdogan and the Incirlik Air Base endured an eight-day airfield siege.

As the Air Force’s lead analyst for the first 48 hours of the siege, Fuentes compiled 23 reports to facilitate the evacuation of 708 dependents and civilians at the base; despite power outages and other hindrances.

WSIE revives radio drama

For the first time in decades, locally produced radio drama can be heard on the Metro East airwaves as Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s public radio station, WSIE 88.7 FM The Sound, offers “Academia Underground.”

Produced by the Theater of the Mind Production Company, the 30-minute original radio soap opera explores issues, from alcohol use to plagiarism, complicating the lives of students and faculty members at the fictitious Aurum University.  

Student in SIUE Department of Mass Communications take part in production. The show airs on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. Radio drama was last produced locally in the St. Louis area in 1952 by KSD, 550AM, according to the Gateway Journalism Review.


–Metro East Area News Briefs–