State Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg) is encouraging everyone to do their part to keep farmers safe as harvest season approaches by recognizing National Farm Safety and Health Week from September 15 through the 21.
With a work-related death rate of 23 deaths per 100,000 workers according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annually observed week raises awareness about the dangers of what can be a high-risk industry and encourages accident prevention for farmers.
This year’s theme is “Shifting Farm Safety into High Gear” with different topics covered each day including tractor safety, rural roadway safety, farmer health, opioid use and suicide prevention, safety and health for youth, safety in confined spaces and health for women.
Also recognized this week is National Child Passenger Safety Week.
The week focuses on ensuring children are properly secured in the appropriate car seat for their age, height and weight. As part of the nationally recognized week, Saturday, September 21 has been designated Seat Check Saturday with over 100 events taking place throughout Illinois.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 46 percent of car seats are misused.
To prevent accidents and educate the public, parents and caregivers can bring their car seats to one of the designated event locations to have their seats inspected by certified technicians for free. For more information on Illinois’ Child Passenger Safety program or to find an event location near you, visit www.buckleupillinois.org.
For in-district activities this week, Sen. Fowler joined another local high school to serve as Principal for the Day.
On September 17, Sen. Fowler joined the faculty, staff and students at Eldorado High School as part of the state-wide program which seeks to build relationships between elected officials and the schools they represent.
In other news, Sen. Fowler joined members of the Rotary Club of Harrisburg on September 16. Sen. Fowler met with the group to provide a legislative update and speak with members about economic development throughout the region
Later in the week, Sen. Fowler took part in another SI Bridge to the Future meeting. The group is a collaboration of regional stakeholders from all sectors, including hospitals, institutions of higher education, economic groups and elected officials. The focus of this week’s meeting was on marketing Southern Illinois, encouraging economic opportunity and promoting tourism.
A one-time tax amnesty program is being offered to delinquent taxpayers beginning October 1. Also during the week, members of the Property Tax Relief Task Force continued to meet in hopes of addressing Illinois’ onerous property tax burden.
In other news, promoting farm safety and preventing accidents is the focus of National Farm Safety and Health Week. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to bring their car seats in for inspection as part of Seat Check Saturday.
Tax Amnesty Program Created to Recover Outstanding Taxes
A program seeking to recover millions in unpaid state taxes is good news for delinquent taxpayers looking to make good with the state. The Illinois Department of Revenue recently announced a tax amnesty program for delinquent taxpayers.
Beginning October 1, individuals with unpaid tax liabilities from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2018 may be eligible for the one-time amnesty. Taxpayers have until November 15, 2019 to make full payments on their outstanding tax debt without penalties.
Taxpayers who did not file their state taxes during the original filing period will be required to file an original return in addition to paying the full tax due. Residents will also have the opportunity to report changes to previously filed returns by submitting an amended return and paying the tax debt in full.
The amnesty program was proposed earlier this year to recover the estimated $175 million in outstanding taxes owed to the state. For more information on the program, visit the Illinois Department of Revenue’s Tax Amnesty website located at www.tax.illinois.gov.
Property Tax Relief Tax Force Identifies Critical Subcommittees
Meetings of the Property Tax Relief Task Force, a panel tasked with pinpointing causal factors of Illinois’ high property tax burden and identifying policy changes to provide relief to Illinois homeowners, continued during the week.
To streamline the process of examining this complex issue, the Task Force recently created seven subcommittees to focus on the significant drivers of high property taxes in Illinois. Subcommittees will meet on topics including assessments and exemptions, government consolidation, social and economic disparities, PTELL, local pensions, school funding and TIFs.
Members of each subcommittee are currently meeting to discuss their designated subject areas in more detail and will report back to the central Task Force.
The Task Force, which has been meeting since August, is required to submit a final report of its recommendations to the General Assembly by December 31, 2019.