Landlords benefit from loose law; save millions in taxes

Champaign County landlords are reaping more than $20 million in tax exemptions a year by taking advantage of a loosely written state law and an interpretation of that law by the county supervisor of assessments.

How to track contributions to state and local candidates

The Illinois State Board of Elections web site is packed with data on contributions to state and local candidates and on how those candidates spend their money. So we thought that CU-CitizenAccess.org would offer a quick tutorial in how to find that information yourself. First, go to the State Board’s Web site at http://www.elections.il.gov/ as shown in Figure-1. Figure 1Move your cursor towards the top middle and click on “Candidates” to get going. When you click on that, you will get this screen as show in Figure-2.Figure 2Move your cursor towards the middle of the page and click on “Campaign Disclosure”, located within the “Welcome Candidates” list.

Photo of Champaign County Clerk's Office

Efforts at transparency in government lost in translation

Illinois state law requires government officials in Champaign County to file forms disclosing financial dealings that might lead to conflicts of interest in their official duties.

But a review by CU-CitizenAccess.org of over 9,000 forms filed by officials over the past five years found that an average 16 percent of officials reveal any specific information.