Taxes Increasing Anxiety Over Gas Prices

CHICAGO – The latest figures from the U.S. Department of Energy show that Chicago has now surpassed San Francisco and Los Angeles for the nation’s highest gasoline price per gallon. Just one week ago, Chicago trailed both cities at the pump. It is not the oil companies, however, that specifically targeted Chicago citizens with the “over the top” gas prices, –Chicago politicians did.
According to the American Petroleum Institute (API), the nationwide average tax on gasoline is 48.1 cents per gallon (cpg), which includes a federal excise tax of 18.4 cpg. In Illinois the average tax on gasoline is 61.2 cpg overall. In Chicago, however, it is far worse. In addition to the state excise tax (19 cpg), Cook County’s fuel tax (6 cpg), Chicago’s local tax (5 cpg), and numerous other taxes (underground storage tank fee, environmental impact fee), Illinois allows for sales taxes to be collected on the retail price of gasoline as well. The sales tax in Chicago is 9.75%. This means that Chicago citizens now pay well over 80 cents in taxes per gallon of gasoline purchased. It also means that, thanks to the sales tax, the taxpayer’s burden increases as oil prices rise. Read more

Taxpayers Fight Back in Oak Park and Riverside-Brookfield

CHICAGO- Two lawsuits were filed today in Illinois by disgruntled taxpayers and Taxpayers United of America (TUA). The suits attack the way in which the property tax increase referenda were placed on the April 5th ballot in Oak Park School District 97 and in Riverside-Brookfield District 208. Both of those districts as well as at least 8 other districts miscalculated the amount of the property tax increase resulting in a much lower amount than is actually the case.
“This lawsuit is meant to send a strong message to public employees and their unions that electioneering cannot be conducted on taxpayer dime,” said Tony Peraica, former Cook County Commissioner and  plaintiff for the Riverside-Brookfield lawsuit. “As taxpayers, we must hold our elected officials accountable. When union or political activity is done on taxpayer paid time, it is important that those who violated the law are held responsible.” Read more

Growing success of "Atlas Shrugged" featured on page one of Chicago Sun-Times

The unexpected success of the recent film adaptation of ‘Atlas Shrugged,’ Ayn Rand’s classic novel, is embarrassing naysayers. The Chicago Sun-Times featured the film’s growing popularity on page one of today’s paper.
One person who watched the movie was W.C. Augustine, who coincidentally is the author of a book called “Atlas Rising” and who counts Ayn Rand among his inspirations. With regard to the movie, he said:
‘Honestly I expected to be disappointed as “no way” could it live up to the book and my expectations. However, it was great; it got the message across cleanly and effectively. Let the reviewers bad mouth it; their rabid raves will only stir people’s curiosity to see what stirs them so much.’
Click here to view the Sun-Times article.