gratitude2

Whenever you have felt grateful, have you not also felt happy?

Happy Thanksgiving

by Harvey Bluedorn

Can you imagine a thankful person who is not happy, or an unthankful person who is happy?

Unthankful or ungrateful people feel they are somehow entitled. The more one feels entitled, the less grateful one becomes. A spoiled child is an ungrateful child who feels entitled. Ungrateful self-entitled persons become angry persons. They feel entitled to lash out and hurt other people who don’t give them what they feel entitled to.

So ungratefulness spawns unhappiness, and unhappiness makes people selfish, resentful, and mean.

By contrast, gratefulness makes people happy, and happy people are generous, respectful, and kind.

Whenever you have felt grateful, have you not also felt happy? And the more grateful you felt, the greater was your happiness! And the more you felt like passing it on – you were more generous, respectful, and kind.

Grateful persons are not unhappy, and selfish, and resentful, and mean. They do not see themselves as victims who are entitled.

So gratitude spawns happiness, and happiness spawns goodness.

The expression “happy thanksgiving” is almost redundant. If you are truly thankful, then you are also happy.

Those who know the Lord are forever grateful and happy. They rejoice to give Him the praise and the glory.

Psalm 100
Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
2 Serve the LORD with gladness:
come before his presence with singing.
3 Know ye that the LORD he is God:
it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,
and into his courts with praise:
be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
5 For the LORD is good;
his mercy is everlasting;
and his truth endureth to all generations.

tax

An Economic Principle You Can’t Ignore

by Harvey Bluedorn

The Mercer County Board anticipates some financial pinch in the coming year.

Presuming that budget allocations are responsible and reasonable, the problem shifts to insufficient revenue.

I suggest that a tax rate increase is not the solution.

I quote briefly from an article I found on the internet.

“…[if] the government needed more revenue it would increase taxes … Government officials would get the false impression that raising taxes also raises the amount of money going into the … treasury. This false impression would take a long time to correct. Necessity, especially in politics, often occasions false hopes, false reasoning, and a system of measures correspondingly erroneous… … The most productive system of obtaining governmental revenue will always be the least burdensome.”

That quote is from Federalist Paper No. 35, published on January 5, 1788

Here in Illinois, the assessed value for the coming year on all property has increased, but a significant amount of farmland gets a sizable increase.

That actually sounds good for revenue, but not so good for property owners, and really not so good for a lot of farmers.

So we can actually expect a significant increase in revenue without any tax rate increase.

Apparently some on the county board are not satisfied that this property tax revenue windfall will be sufficient to counterbalance any decrease in other revenue and any increase in necessary expenditures.

But would a tax rate increase be the solution?

A tax rate increase is not the solution

People make decisions based on their own perceived best interests. We each have different perceptions, but this is what we do.

It you raise the tax rate, the people’s perception will be that it is less in their interest to increase or even maintain certain economic activities, and not in their interest to trust that the county is operating in their best interest. This will necessarily cause a decrease in revenue.

I suggest that the best course is to actually lower the tax rate – perhaps only a token amount at first – and all things being equal, this will have a positive economic effect, and it will actually cause an increase in revenue. Businesses will understand that it is safe to stay in Mercer, to move to Mercer, and to grow in Mercer.

As Alexander Hamilton wrote in the above quote, “The most productive system of obtaining governmental revenue will always be the least burdensome.”

1. Tax Cuts Increase Federal Revenues

“…Q: What policies would create a more robust economy?
A: Lower tax rates create better economic conditions. It’s simple: lower tax rates = more robust economy = more federal revenue….”

2. Growing out of control: property taxes put increasing burden on Illinois taxpayers

“…Property taxes are the single largest tax in Illinois, burdening residents far more than either income or sales taxes…….Property taxes are the main source of income for local governments in Illinois. …. Illinois should reduce the overall burden of property taxes to make them more affordable for average homeowners and to bring Illinois’ effective rates in line with those of other states….”

3. Lowering Taxes Would Actually Increase Tax Revenue by Daniel J. Mitchell

“For more than 30 years, I’ve been trying to educate my leftist friends about supply-side economics and the Laffer Curve. Why is it so hard for them to recognize, I endlessly wonder, that when you tax something, you get less of it? And why don’t they realize that when you tax something at high rates, the effect is even larger? And if the tax is high and the affected economic activity is sufficiently discouraged, why won’t they admit that this will have an impact on tax revenue? Don’t they understand the basic economics of supply and demand?…”

4. Will Higher Tax Rates Balance the Budget?

5. Sorry, New York Times, tax cuts sure do lead to economic growth by James Pethokoukis

“…cutting tax rates can be a pretty effective way to boost economic growth. And raising tax rates hurts economic growth….”

6. The Historical Lessons of Lower Tax Rates

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARINGTruth in TaxationNotice of Proposed Property Tax IncreaseFor Mercer County, Illinois

Notice of Truth in Taxation Hearing — Proposed Property Tax Increase for Mercer County Illinois

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING — Truth in Taxation

Notice of Proposed Property Tax Increase for Mercer County, Illinois

Notice is hereby given that a public hearing to receive public input on a proposed property tax increase for Mercer County for the fiscal year 2018 will be held on November 1st, 2017 at 6:00 PM at the Aledo VFW, 106 SW 3rd Ave, Aledo, Illinois.

The corporate and special purpose property taxes extended or abated for 2017 were $2,949,688. The proposed corporate and special purpose property taxes to be levied 2018 are $3,260,741. This represents a 10.55% increase over the previous year.

The property taxes extended for Public Building Commission leases for 2017 were $981,077. The estimated property taxes to be levied for Public Building Commission leases for 2018 are $1,075,253. This represents a 9.6% increase over the previous year.

The total property taxes extended or abated for 2017 were $3,930,765. The estimated total property taxes to be levied for 2018 are $4,404,493. The sum of all residential, commercial, industrial and farmland assessment represents a 12.05% increase in levied property taxes over the previous year.

Any person, or agency representative, desiring to appear at the public hearing and present testimony to the taxing district may contact County Clerk Sara Blazer at the Mercer County Clerk’s Office or by telephone (309) 582-7021 or may register their desire to appear at least 15 minutes prior to the hearing at the location of the hearing.

Time allotted for the presentation of testimony will be limited to three (3) minutes per the standard practices of the Mercer County Board.

Written testimony may also be submitted in writing to the County Clerk, and will be entered into the record of the hearing.