December 28 Morning Edition

— IRS says many who prepaid property taxes may still face cap on deductions – Peter Jamison, Jeff Stein and Patricia Sullivan (DIERSEN: Will the Republicans amend the tax bill so that real estate taxes due in 2018 that were not assessed in 2017 but were prepaid in 2017 can be deducted in 2017?)
(FROM THE ARTICLE: However, the IRS said Wednesday that filers could only avoid the cap by paying property taxes that have been assessed in 2017. Many local governments, including most Washington-area jurisdictions, have not completed assessments for upcoming years. Critics said the last-minute confusion underscored the haste with which Republicans passed their tax bill, completed in record time for such a far-reaching piece of legislation. “This is not the way to do legislation that will massively impact the entire economy. It sets off a flurry of action from people trying to save money, and they act as rash as the legislators who pushed this thing through,” said Philip Hackney, a tax expert at Louisiana State University. That confusion was echoed among thousands of taxpayers in the Washington region and elsewhere — some following the advice of their accountants — who interrupted their holiday activities to line up in subfreezing temperatures at tax offices.)
— Can you save a lot of money by prepaying your property taxes? Key questions and answers. – Zachary A. Goldfarb
— Most Americans do not support making cuts to programs for people with low incomes – Eugene Scott (DIERSEN: Ever-increasingly, under the Democrats, more and more and more people have low incomes. What did you do to qualify yourself for better paying jobs? I earned a) a job-related bachelor’s degree when I was 21 in 1970 and job-related master’s degrees when I was 27, 31, and 48, b) job-related professional certifications when I was 30, 32, 41, 45, 47, and 48, and c) a job-related professional license when I was 32.)


— Prepaying Your Property Tax? I.R.S. Cautions It Might Not Pay Off – Ben Casselman
— FRONT PAGE TOP OF FOLD: In a Complex Tax Bill, Let the Hunt for Loopholes Begin – Natalie Kitroeff (DIERSEN: What deductions do your critics/opponents hint/imply/argue/shout are loopholes? My critics/opponents hint/imply/argue/shout that the following deductions are loopholes: mortgage interest, real estate tax, state income tax, medical and dental expenses, 501(c)(3) contributions, and job-related education.)


— IRS Says 2018 Property Taxes Have to Be Assessed to Qualify for Deduction Agency says taxes on real estate that haven’t been assessed before 2018 won’t be deductible on 2017 returns – Joseph De Avila


— When You Shouldn’t Prepay Your 2018 Property Taxes – Kate Ashford
(FROM THE ARTICLE: If you don’t have a bill yet for 2018, it’s not officially deductible. “The IRS ruled that you cannot pay and deduct in 2017 unless assessed,” says Scott Bishop, a financial planner with STA Wealth Management in Houston. If, for instance, your locality assessed property taxes earlier in the year and you generally pay in installments, you can pay the full balance in 2017 and deduct it. But if property taxes haven’t been assessed yet, you’re out of luck. “That seems to be the bigger issue now,” says Howard Hook, a financial planner and CPA in Princeton, NJ. “If you’re not assessed for 2018, you can’t make the payments.”)


— How to Prepay Property Taxes in Chicago Suburbs


— Homeowners rush to pre-pay property taxes after GOP tax bill – Eric Horng


— IRS: Many who prepay taxes may still face caps – Peter Jamison, Jeff Stein and Patricia Sullivan
— 6 essential questions and answers about prepaying your property taxes – Zachary A. Goldfarb
— Charity gets a jolt from tax law _ but due to drop next year – AP
— How 6th District Democrats would change Republican tax law – Marie Wilson
— Activists seek injunction against Illinois abortion law – AP
— Group wants photos of every service member killed in Vietnam War – Katlyn Smith
— Trump’s unjust insults to undermine Washington Post – Editorial (DIERSEN: Ever-increasingly, the MSM (main stream media) makes it clear that it exists a) to defend and advance the Democrat, Libertarian, and Green party platforms and b) to get rid of individuals, organizations, companies, governments, and countries that are Trump supporters, Protestant, conservative, patriotic, Republican, American, White, male, older, rich, gun owners, German American, and/or those whose ancestors have been in America for a long time.)
— FRONT PAGE TOP OF FOLD: State requires new sexual harassment policies for all local governments – Eric Peterson


— Illinois Homeowners Rush To Pay Taxes Before GOP Plan Kicks In Friday is your last day to prepay taxes ahead of the new GOP plan, which caps tax deductions at $10,000. – Shannon Antinori


— Roy Moore files lawsuit to block Alabama Senate result – AP
— Husband blames owner of two dogs who killed wife on Christmas Eve in Kentucky – Kristine Phillips
— Will #metoo movement speed up the number of women in leadership — or slow it down? – Jena McGregor (DIERSEN: Ever-increasingly, under the anti-Trumps, if a woman accuses a man of something, that man is presumed to be guilty, and especially if that man is a Trump supporter, Protestant, conservative, patriotic, Republican, American, White, older, rich, gun owner, German American, and/or if his ancestors have been in America for a long time.)
— FRONT PAGE: Anti-gambling crusader Kathy Gilroy who shut down raffles wins $25,000 in gaming parlor sweepstakes – Robert McCoppin
(FROM THE ARTICLE: Kathy Gilroy has crusaded against gambling in Illinois for decades, speaking out against casinos, illegal raffles and the recent wave of video poker cafes. As one of the most visible gaming opponents in the state, she has warned that the vice erodes society’s values and work ethic, takes money from poor people and can lead to addiction, bankruptcy, crime and suicide. Just this year, she blew the whistle on a $1.6 million Queen of Hearts raffle put on by the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in rural Morris, forcing it to shut down hours before the planned drawing, until the raffle was properly licensed. So even she concedes it may seem ironic that she recently won $25,000 by playing a sweepstakes game at a gambling cafe in her hometown of Villa Park. “I called a pastor friend, and said, ‘Oh my God, should I send it back? What do I do? Do I donate it?’” she said. “He said, ‘Don’t feel guilty. You just got paid for all your volunteer work against gambling.’ It’s God showing his grace on me.” Despite her longtime anti-gambling activism, it turns out Gilroy has a history of playing and winning sweepstakes. She said she’s landed prizes including electronics and trips to the Bahamas and California. She once won a big-screen TV from a mechanic, but asked instead for $1,000 in service. A week later, her transmission went out, and she quickly got her money’s worth. She’ll even play the video poker machines at gambling cafes if she is given a free promo card. The distinction Gilroy makes is that she was not spending her own money to gamble. She enters sweepstakes because, by state law, they must be made available free of charge. And — unlike the VFW game that was not licensed, as required by law — she says the sweepstakes she plays are perfectly legal. Still, Morris VFW Commander Jerry Zeborowski was perplexed to hear that Gilroy had won a sweepstakes. “It’s ironic that someone who’s anti-gambling would enter something like that,” he said. “That’s a little hypocrisy there, don’t you think?” Gilroy, 68, who works selling supplemental health insurance for people on Medicare, shrugs off the negative comments she’s gotten over the years, such as when she succeeded in halting a raffle to raise money for needy college students because it was unlicensed and not put on by a nonprofit, as required by law. But she admitted she did have to think twice about this situation. She worried that her winnings were proceeds from money that people lost gambling, but decided that it comes out of the profits of the parent company, Laredo Hospitality Ventures. Gilroy said she was raised on a farm near Lost Nation, Iowa, in a family that never had much money. She worked her way through school, and traveled to fairs and trade shows around the country, selling everything from books to blenders. Decades ago, she used to gamble at racetracks, she said. But her attitude towards gambling started to change when she won $700, only to lose it back swiftly to the track. She took part in an anti-gambling seminar by the Rev. Tom Grey, leader of the National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling, formed in 1994. She began speaking out against any effort to expand gambling, including most recently with video poker cafes, which have grown to offer more than 24,000 machines statewide. Last year, as one example, she asked the Lincolnwood Village Board to reject a request to lift its ban on video gambling. At issue was a proposal by Laredo Hospitality to open a Stella’s Cafe — the same Des Plaines company and gambling parlor chain through which Gilroy ended up winning her drawing. As Gilroy tells it, she heard about the sweepstakes after signing up for the gambling cafes’ emails. After every fifth visit to a cafe, she got a scratch-off card, which occasionally won her a $5 card to play the machines or entries for the grand prize, a new Ford Mustang convertible. Finalists were drawn from each of Laredo’s 52 locations in Illinois, and Gilroy was one of them. Winners had to be present, so she attended the grand prize drawing at a restaurant in Rosemont on Dec. 16. She drew No. 7, and when her number was pulled from a fishbowl, she was amazed to hear that she had won. She opted for $25,000 in cash instead of a car, and has already bought some stocks with the money. To get the winnings, Gilroy had to sign an agreement to let Laredo take her photo and use it as they wish — so she might end up promoting the very industry she fights. Laredo officials didn’t return calls for comment, and didn’t allow the Tribune to take Gilroy’s picture inside the Stella’s in Villa Park, so they may not be eager to use her as their poster child. Years ago, just before she quit betting on the ponies, Gilroy said, she looked around and was struck by the smoke and the broken-down players at the track. “I said, ‘What am I doing?’ This is so stupid,’” she recalled. “It dawned on me, this is not the lifestyle I want. I don’t want to even associate with these people.” Still, after all these years, after shutting down numerous illegal raffles and raising awareness statewide that raffles need to be locally licensed, Gilroy said she takes advantage of sweepstakes whenever she can. “It’s the gambling I oppose,” she said, “not the sweepstakes.”)


— WMAY using stories of network linked to Illinois Policy Institute – Bernard Schoenburg (DIERSEN: Virtually every story in the MSM (main stream media) is linked to the Democrat Party, to the Libertarian Party, and/or to the Green Party.)


— More pay for public defenders? – David Giuliani


— You owe $52K for state employee pensions, and the bill is overdue


— Democrat: GOP rep. calling for ‘purge’ needs a history lesson Call reminiscent of McCarthyism during Cold War – JASON SQUITIERI (DIERSEN: While I worked for the federal government for almost 30 years, my superiors always acted like Democrat politicians had called for a purge of all federal employees who were Republican, White, male, and/or non-veteran who had not made GS-13 (currently $94,610) by age 25, GS-14 (currently $111,801) by age 30, GS-15 (currently $131,508) by age 35, and Senior Executive Service (currently $161,900) by age 40. Democrats use Affirmative Action, Diversity, and Inclusion to purge the aforesaid employees. While I worked for GAO in its Chicago office 1980-1997, every time a new manager took over the office, they were given a list of the office’s employees who they were supposed to purge. Of course, I was always on those lists.)


— TRAGIC: Gamblers in Biggest Illinois Valley Cities Lost Nearly $20 Million in Last 12 Months


— Illinois Comptroller: Moving Debt From One Credit Card To Another Is ‘A Win Win Win’ – Mark Glennon


— Kinzler blames Illinois’ exodus on ‘dysfunctional system’ – Glenn Minnis


— Top-down change needed to reverse Illinois exodus, Don Moore says – Glenn Minnis


— Coalition Letter Urges Trump Administration to Resist Courts on “Transgenders” in Military – John Biver


— Food, showers, tents: Are the homeless helped or enabled?


— Americans Fled Blue States In The Hundreds Of Thousands Due To High Taxes, Leaving Fewer To Pay The Democrats’ Tab – Brandon Morse


— A Guide to the 2018 Midterm Elections – Scott Rasmussen
(FROM THE ARTICLE: There are, however, a few races to give a sense of how good a night the Democrats are likely to have. The first is Illinois-6, currently held by Republican Peter Roskam. This suburban district was carried by Hillary Clinton. Not only that, special elections this year have shown that the GOP is struggling to hang on to suburban voters. If Roskam is still competitive come November, the GOP might hold their losses to a dozen seats or so.)


— Ron Paul: The economic boom under Trump is ‘an illusion’ that will come crashing down – Chris Enloe


— The ‘Swamp’ Trump Is Trying To Drain Isn’t Really A Swamp — It’s An Ocean (DIERSEN Democrats run the federal government. If Republicans cut a federal agency’s budget, those cuts will be used to get rid of the agency’s employees who are Republican, White, male, and/or non-veteran who did not make GS-13 (currently $94,610) by age 25, GS-14 (currently $111,801) by age 30, GS-15 (currently $131,508) by age 35, and Senior Executive Service (currently $161,900) by age 40.)


— ‘Mapping The Swamp’ Report Shows It’s Even Bigger, Costlier Than You Think Paying federal workforce costs taxpayers $1.1M per minute, according to a pro-transparency group, Open The Books – Mark Tapscott (DIERSEN Democrats run the federal government. If Republicans cut a federal agency’s budget, those cuts will be used to get rid of the agency’s employees who are Republican, White, male, and/or non-veteran who did not make GS-13 (currently $94,610) by age 25, GS-14 (currently $111,801) by age 30, GS-15 (currently $131,508) by age 35, and Senior Executive Service (currently $161,900) by age 40.)


— Roy Moore Files Suit to Block Certification of Alabama Senate Election Result Defeated GOP candidate’s attorney said in complaint he believed there were irregularities during the election and a new one should be held – AP
— The Tax Law Makes CPAs Interesting (for Now) Accountants face long hours, anxious clients, but ‘it’s never been a better time to be a CPA’ – Michael Rapoport (DIERSEN: In 1979, when I was 30 years old, I passed the CPA examination on my first attempt. In 1981, I became a licensed CPA.)
— Employee Mentorship Program Gets a Reboot – Rachel Feintzeig (DIERSEN: What happened to your mentors? My Democrat IRS superiors got rid of the IRS manager who promoted me in 1972, 1973, and 1974. My Democrat GAO superiors got rid of the GAO manager who hired me in 1980, who got me assigned to audits of IRS in 1986, and who promoted me in 1986.)


— HARDCOPY ARTICLE HEADLINE: Republicans accuse American Bar Association of bias – Richard Wolf (DIERSEN: What percent of ABA members are Democrats?)
— Hot housing market could cool in 2018 – Paul Davidson


— Compensation for Federal Workforce Costs the Government $1 Million Per Minute


— Employers Are Looking for Job Candidates in the Wrong Places – LOLADE FADULU (DIERSEN: Did you meet legal requirements when you were hired? I did. I had a job-related master’s degree (MBA Loyola 1976), a job-related professional certification (CPA 1979), almost 9 years of job-related work experience (the last 5 1/2 years of which at the GS-12 Step 1-5 levels (currently $79,563-$90,173), and I had almost completed the requirements for a master’s degree in accounting from DePaul when GAO hired me at the GS-9 Step 10 level (currently $71,326) in 1980. I had a job-related bachelor’s degree (management NIU 1970) and I had passed the Federal Service Entrance Examination when IRS hired me at the GS-7 Step 1 level (currently $54,864) in 1971. I had a high school diploma and I had passed an employment examination when the Post Office hired me at the GS-4 Step 1 level (currently $15.56/hour) level in 1966.)

Author: David Diersen

The opinions that I express in GOPUSA ILLINOIS emails are based on experience that I have gained doing many things since 1948. I base my opinions on what I learned a) working for the federal government for almost 30 years -- Post Office 1966-1969, IRS 1971-1980, and GAO 1980-1997, serving on the Executive Committee of the Association of Government Accountants Chicago Chapter 1983-1996, and being a union member while I worked for the Post Office and IRS; b) earning an MBA from Loyola in 1976, a masters degree in accounting from DePaul in 1980, and a masters degree in financial markets and trading from IIT in 1997; c) passing the CPA examination on my first attempt in 1979 and passing the Certified Internal Auditor examination on my first attempt in 1981; c) serving as a Republican Precinct Committeeman since 1999, the GOPUSA Illinois Editor since 2000, the TAPROOT Republicans of Illinois Chairman 2005-2012, a member of the 2008 Illinois Republican Party (IRP) Platform and Resolutions Committee, a Wheaton Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee member 2003-2011, the Milton Township Republican Central Committee webmaster 2008-2010 and 2000-2004, an Illinois Center Right Coalition Steering Committee member 2003-2007, and an American Association of Political Consultants Midwest Chapter board member 2001-2004; d) attending the 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 IRP State Conventions as a delegate; e) being the subject of a nasty 4-page article in the February 1978 issue of Money Magazine; f) pursing litigation including Diersen v. GAO and Diersen v. Chicago Car Exchange; g) being married since 1978; h) living in Crete 1948-1972, in University Park 1972-1976, in Chicago 1976-1978, and in DuPage County, Milton Township, and Wheaton since 1978; and i) being baptized, raised, and confirmed as a Missouri Synod Lutheran.