Metra

2017 Tax Hits To Chicagoans

“Broken record” time.

“New/higher fees, fines, and taxes, and less government services.”

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity (and older ones from my Boom2Bust days) know I’ve been warning about this for years now (since 2008?) concerning Chicago- as well as Cook County, Illinois, and lots of other places aroud the country.

And it’s pretty much what has transpired from what I’ve seen.

Particularly in the “Windy City”- where the hits keep on coming. Hal Dardick reported on the Chicago Tribune website this morning:

Chicago property owners hoping for a respite from rapidly rising taxes will be disappointed in 2017, when city government and Chicago Public Schools will continue digging deeper into their pocketbooks.

Two more major property tax increases are coming. So is a new tax on water and sewer service. And some city dwellers will face other rising costs: a fee for each store-provided disposable bag and slightly higher Park District fees.

Come mid-year, city and suburban residents will be paying a new sweetened beverage tax effective in all of Cook County, and another round of Metra fare hikes is coming soon. Here’s a look at what to expect…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Dardick did a good job summarizing the dents Chicagoans (and Chicagoland residents) could expect to their finances in the new year. Head on over to the Tribune website here to get the entire story.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Alerts Issued Over Possible Retaliation For Bin Laden’s Death

Indeed, in the short term it is possible that terrorism may increase. Some jihadists may seek revenge, lashing out at any target that is convenient. Al Qaeda’s remaining senior leaders may also try to orchestrate attacks to demonstrate the organization’s continued relevance. They may hurry up plots already gestating or hit unprotected — so-called “soft” — targets that take little preparation to strike.

-Daniel Byman, professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University and the director of research at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, on the Foreign Policy website this morning

In the wake of the announcement by President Obama that Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is dead, alerts are going out over possible retaliatory attacks against American interests by Muslim extremists. From the FOX News website this morning:

As Americans celebrated the news that Usama bin Laden had been killed following a decade-long international manhunt, they also faced renewed warnings that Al Qaeda and its affiliates may seek to exact revenge for the killing of their longtime leader.

U.S. officials, while congratulating the CIA-led SEALs team that took down bin Laden, sent out a wave of alerts overnight about the possibility of retaliation…

Authorities have sent a notice to diplomatic personnel around the world telling them U.S. “diplomatic facilities” are now on “high alert” after bin Laden’s death. The notice described the security situation as “severe,” though it noted “no specific security threats have been identified.”

The New York and Los Angeles police departments have both issued alerts to officers in the field, telling them to be particularly vigilant in light of bin Laden’s death.

The State Department overnight also issued a travel alert to U.S. citizens abroad, urging caution “in areas where recent events could cause anti-American violence.” The department instructed Americans to limit travel outside their homes and hotels and avoid mass gatherings.

The Department of Homeland Security sent out a warning that offered a bit more detail. The warning, obtained by Fox News, said Al Qaeda affiliates “may seek to accelerate plotting efforts in the homeland, particularly Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.”

The threats of revenge have started. This morning Reuters’ Saud Mehsud reported that the Pakistani Taliban threatened attacks against a number of parties. Mehsud wrote:

“Now Pakistani rulers, President Zardari and the army will be our first targets. America will be our second target,” Ehsanullah Ehsan, a spokesman for Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), or Taliban Movement of Pakistan, told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location.

Meanwhile, here in Chicago, counter-terrorism activities appear subdued. The Chicago Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner and Carlos Sandovi reported this morning:

Chicago police say they are keeping an eye on religious institutions as a precaution in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s death at the hands of U.S. special forces.

The department has not issued a heightened alert, but officers are paying closer attention to mosques, synagogues and churches, particularly in the Rogers Park and West Rogers Park neighborhoods, officials said this morning.

Chicago aviation officials would not say whether security has been increased at O’Hare and Midway airports, referring questions to the Transportation Security Administration, which referred questions to the Department of Homeland Security, which released this statement:

“We remain at a heightened state of vigilance. Secretary [Janet] Napolitano has been clear since . . . January that we will only issue alerts when we have specific or credible information to convey to the American public. Our security posture, which always includes a number of measures both seen and unseen, will continue to protect the American people from an evolving threat picture both in the next days and beyond.”

Metra said it has not taken any stepped-up precautions on its trains. CTA officials had no immediate comment.

Sources:

“Americans Put on Alert Amid Warnings of Al Qaeda Retaliation.” FOX News. 2 May 2011. (http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/05/02/americans-alert-amid-warnings-al-qaeda-retaliation/). 2 May 2011.

“Pakistan Taliban threaten attacks after bin Laden’s killing.” Reuters. 2 May 2011. (http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/02/pakistan-taliban-binladen-idUSL3E7G21C420110502). 2 May 2011.

Gorner, Jeremy and Sandovi, Carlos. “Chicago cops keeping eye on religious institutions.” Chicago Tribune. 2 May. 2011. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chibrknews-chicago-cops-keeping-eye-on-religiouis-institutions-20110502,0,2480948.story). 2 May. 2011.

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