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State Reports

Items listed under State Documents have been received by the Documents Unit, Illinois State Library, Springfield, and are usually available from public libraries in the state through inter-library loan. Issuing agencies may have copies available. For items listed under Other Reports, write to the publisher as listed.

State Documents

1988 Illinois Fishing Prospects, Illinois Department of Conservation, Division of Fisheries, Lincoln Tower Plaza, 524 S. Second St., Springfield 62706 (January 1988).

In addition to listing the names of lakes in which over a dozen kinds of fish may be found, this tabloid-size publication also provides information about how to fillet perch and bass, how to dress sunfish and how to cook your catch. In addition, it offers some sport fish health advisories for Illinois waters and a fishing guide to Cook County waters.

What Employers Need to Know About Cancer, Department of Human Rights, 623 Stratton Bldg., Springfield 62706 (January 1988), 7 pp.

Cancer survival rates have increased dramatically in recent years and, consequently, the number of persons who have survived and wish (or need) to work has also grown. Statistics show that these workers are dependable and productive. This brochure provides some general information about cancer and about the employment rights of cancer patients under the Illinois Human Rights Act. It should be useful to both employers and employees.

Illinois Population Trends 1980 to 2025, Bureau of the Budget, 605 Stratton Bldg., Springfield 62706 (June 1987), 285 pp.

Between 1950 and 1970 Illinois' population grew by 28 percent, but since then the growth rate has declined sharply. In the 1970s the state's population grew by only 2.8 percent, and between 1980 and 1985 it increased a mere 1 percent. Projections for the future suggest that the school-age population will continue to decline until 1990, grow slowly from then until 2000 and then decline again. The number of persons over 65 will increase steadily, as will the proportion of the population in this age group. As this publication shows, these general trends will not hold true in every county. To illustrate this point, line graphs showing population trends for each Illinois county are included. In addition, figures for five-year intervals between 1980 and 2025 present total county population and that of both sexes in tabular form. For some counties there are also figures for Hispanics and blacks. A quick glance at the graphs throughout the volume reveals an astonishing variation in population trends that will surely have important implications for decisionmakers.

Illinois Recycled Materials Market Directory, Department of Energy and Natural Resources, 325 W. Adams St., Springfield 62704 (December 1987), 36 pp.

This directory offers a list of companies that purchase large volumes of residential and commercial post-consumer recyclables. It includes buyers and a locational map for six recyclables: aluminum cans, glass containers, motor oil, paper, plastic and steel cans.

A Planning Guide for Residential Recycling Programs in Illinois, Department of Energy and Natural Resources, 325 W. Adams St., Springfield 62704 (February 1988), 36 pp.

Three types of residential recycling programs are covered in this guide: drop-off centers, curbside collections and yard waste composting. The guide is designed to assist public or privately operated programs. For each type of program discussed, the guide offers an overview, a discussion of how it is operated, a description of material collection rates and the program's economics. Information on seven specific recycling programs is also provided.

Getting Warmer, Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, 620 E. Adams St., Springfield 62701 (February 1988).

This 10-minute video shows consumers how they can reduce their heating costs by as much as one-third. It explains such devices as setback thermostats, automatic flue dampers and electronic ignition systems. The video is available for rental, free of charge, from DCCA.

Other Reports

Documenting a Disaster: Equity and Adequacy in Illinois School Finance, 1973 Through 1988, Illinois State University, Center for the Study of Educational Finance, 340 DeGarmo Hall, Normal 61761 (December 1987), 43 pp.

This report shows convincing evidence for the argument that Illinois is not funding elementary/secondary education in an equitable fashion; moreover, the situtation is growing worse. The authors suggest that "unless a very large amount of new state funds is put into the poorer districts of the state, we can never get back to the more equitable funding situation of the early 1970s." In addition, while the state has kept pace with inflation, its fiscal effort — defined as the ratio of expenditure to income — has dropped from 15th among all 50 states in 1975 to 34th in 1985. The Center for the Study of Educational Finance has been producing high-quality reports for about 20 years now and, like many of its predecessors, this report should be taken very seriously by those concerned with the future of this state.

Tax Increment Financing, by Kent D. Redfield for Taxpayers' Federation of Illinois, 201 E. Adams St., Suite 350, Springfield 62701 (February 1988), 52 pp.

In 1977 Illinois municipalities were authorized by state law to promote local economic development through tax increment finance (TIF) districts. The purpose was to attract and facilitate private development through the promise of public expenditures for land acquisitions and site preparation; streets, sewers and other public works; and related activities. The expenditures were to be financed through money raised by the sale of municipal bonds. The growth in property tax revenue would be transferred to a special municipal fund (rather than to the municipality and school district, county, park district, etc.), which would be used for the improvements.

In 1985 the state law was changed to make TIF districts that were created prior to January 1, 1987, eligible for state financial support based on the growth in sales taxes collected above a base level. The new legislation has radically altered the basic concept of the TIF district.

This report looks at TIF district activity under the 1985 program. Several issues have been raised by the new legislation. Claims from the 137 districts certified to receive state money will approach $35 million for fiscal year 1990, while the total potential cost for the 23-year program will exceed $2 billion. Of these 137 districts, 28 (20 percent) estimate the increase in the equalized assessed value of property in the district to be less than 20 percent of the amount of public funds spent to encourage economic development; another 19 estimate increases of 20-50 percent. In other words, a great amount of public money will be spent with relatively little economic development taking place. Other issues raised include inequities within the program, abuses in creating project areas, the negative effects on other local taxing bodies (which can lose the increased property taxes for up to 23 years), and the fact that there is no clear policy objective.

Whether one is for or against tax increment financing, this is an important report, especially for those in policymaking positions at both the state and local levels.

Illinois Economic Outlook, Bureau of Economic & Business Research, University of Illinois, 428 Commerce West, 1206 S. Sixth St., Champaign 61820 (1988), 33 pp.

The first sentence in this report should be both disturbing and thought-provoking to all citizens of this state: "Economic growth in Illinois has slowed further, continuing its puny performance relative to nearly all other states in the nation." The rest of the pamphlet backs up this assertion with a mass of facts and figures and looks at 13 specific areas: federal tax changes, state taxes, state expenditures, public elementary and secondary education, investment in infrastructure, exchange rates, agriculture, employment, labor force participation, commercial banking, Chicago financial markets, outlook and indicators of the Illinois economy.

Anna J. Merritt

May 1988 | Illinois Issues | 37

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