ISACo News and Views for September 12, 2022

9/9/2022 Joe McCoy

This week's Illinois State Association of Counties (ISACo) News and Views e-newsletter includes a request for counties to provide ISACo with input about anticipated problems with SAFE-T Act implementation, discusses ISACo's efforts to modify a recent law that makes changes to the Veterans Assistance Commission statute, shares an update about sales tax allocations to local governments, invites counties to submit legislative proposal ideas and amendments to ISACo's County Platform, provides the most recent state revenue report for August, shares upcoming National Association of Counties (NACo) webinar opportunities, spotlights ISACo corporate partner Nationwide and invites counties to join ISACo.

ISACo Seeking Input Regarding SAFE-T Act Implementation

ISACo has held three meetings (May 24, August 4 and September 8) to provide county officials and staff with a forum to exchange information and best practices about how their counties are planning to comply with the personnel requirements ahead of the January 1, 2023, implementation of the SAFE-T Act. Additional meetings will be held over the coming months. Please contact ISACo at info@isacoil.org if your county would like to participate in these meetings. 

The SAFE-T Act is the criminal justice reform legislation enacted into law as P.A. 101-0652 in early 2021. ISACo's overview of the Act is available here. ISACo also published an overview of a trailer bill to the SAFE-T Act (P.A. 102-0694) that was enacted into law in January 2022.

ISACo is seeking to identify problems making compliance with the Act difficult as well as possible solutions to those problems. County officials and staff are invited to share this information with ISACo by utilizing this Word document and e-mailing it to info@isacoil.org. The goal of this endeavor is to identify ways to reduce costs and ease compliance with existing SAFE-T Act provisions.

ISACo Proposes Framework to Amend Veterans Assistance Act Law

HB 5184, approved with unanimous bipartisan votes in the Illinois House and Senate, amends Illinois law to make several changes to how Veterans Assistance Commissions (VAC) are operated and funded. The bill was enacted into law by Governor JB Pritzker on May 6, 2022, as P.A. 102-0732. The new law becomes effective on January 1, 2023. 

ISACo previously reported on HB 5184 in our News and Views e-newsletters on March 7 and March 21 as well as in our Public Acts Report: Legislation of Interest to Counties in 2022.

ISACo is working to address county concerns with the intent of amending the law during the fall Veto Session. Our proposal is focused on revenue, accountability and transparency. The Daily Herald published an article about the issue followed by an editorial generally supportive of ISACo's goals. Both the article and editorial are linked to below:

State Law Aims to Boost Spending to Help Veterans, But Counties Say Hold On (Daily Herald)

Editorial: Lawmakers Must Work to Minimize Impact of Veterans Law on County Budgets (Daily Herald)

ISACo's Policy Brief about the new law is available via this link.

Local Government Sales Tax Allocation Update

ISACo is making counties aware of efforts by the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) to ensure that local governments receive proper revenue allocations following the grocery tax suspension that took effect on July 1, 2022.

Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) staff contacted ISACo to provide notice that it continues to work with retailers to ensure proper completion of sales tax returns to allow the Department to accurately allocate sales tax dollars to local governments.

In addition to resources already provided, IDOR has developed a Compliance Alert to notify retailers of issues identified with the first returns that were due August 22. IDOR is also working with retailers, as necessary, to ensure incomplete or incorrect returns are amended so that October and future allocations of sales tax dollars to local governments are not impacted.

If sales tax dollars are lower than expected for the October allocation, or for future allocations because of improper sales tax filings, future allocations will be adjusted accordingly as amended returns are filed and processed. ISACo will provide additional information as it develops. 

ISACo Accepting Legislative Proposals for 2023 - INPUT REQUESTED!

Does your county have a problem in need of a legislative solution? If so, please e-mail it to ISACo at info@isacoil.org. Submitted proposals will be considered by the Legislative Committee. Proposals ultimately approved by the ISACo Board of Directors will be included within our 2023 Illinois County Action Program (ICAP).

Additionally, ISACo will be considering amendments to our County Platform for 2023. Please review this document and send any suggestions for additions/changes to info@isacoil.org. Proposed changes will be considered by the Legislative Committee and Board of Directors.

COGFA Revenue Report for August

The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) released its August Revenue Report noting that base general revenues grew by $255 million in August due to continued solid performances from the “big three” revenue sources. Another $180 million in ARPA reimbursements raised the overall monthly gain to $435 million. 

For the month of August, personal income taxes were up $135 million ($114 million net); sales taxes revenues added $103 million ($77million net); and corporate incomes taxes grew $44 million ($35 million net of refunds and distributions to the Local Government Distributive Fund).  The remaining state taxes increased a combined $99 million as follows:  growing from miscellaneous sources (up $48 million); interest income (up $24 million) inheritance taxes (up $10 million) insurance taxes (up $8 million); corporate franchise taxes (up $5 million) public utility taxes (up $5 million) and cigarette taxes (up $ 1 million).  Liquor taxes were down $2 million compared to August of 2021.

An $88 million decline in August transfers offset part of the gains from state taxes.  Cannabis transfers were up $4 million for August, meanwhile miscellaneous transfers fell $53 million primarily due to the timing of Capital Projects Fund transfers.  Lottery and gaming fund transfers fell $35 million and $4 million respectively. 

Base federal sources increased $18 million in August. 

Upcoming NACo Webinar

NACo has announced the following upcoming webinar opportunity. ISACo is a proud partner with NACo and encourages counties to participate in NACo membership and activities. 

Top Trends Counties Need to Know About

(Wednesday, September 14, 2022, 1:00pm-2:00pm CDT)

Geographic information system (GIS) technology found its way into our living rooms through county briefings and dashboards on the COVID-19 pandemic. This phenomenon/spotlight resulted in a massive expansion of GIS use for economic recovery, increased transparency, vaccine distribution, addressing equity, broadband development, safer streets, parks and recreation management, civic engagement, and advancements in self-service government. But what is next? How are counties continuing to modernize their services through GIS?

Click on this link to register for this event.

Capital Budgeting Master Class

(Thursday, September 15, 2022, 12:00pm-1:00pm CDT)

Do you still manually manage the capital budgeting process with Word documents or Excel spreadsheets? If so, don’t miss Master Class on Modern Capital Budgeting: Best Practices for County Governments Using Cloud-Based Technology.

Join Rob Battaglia, Senior Market Development Executive at ClearGov, for an informative webinar on how county governments have modernized their capital planning processes with the help of ClearGov’s user-friendly budgeting solutions and how capital budgeting software can fit into your annual budget cycle. Get best practices and tips on how to streamline capital request processes, prioritize your county’s strategic initiatives and goals, easily rank and score capital requests, create and compare unlimited budget scenarios and make data-driven decisions that balance capital costs and funding solutions.

Click on this link to register for this event.

CORPORATE PARTNER SPOTLIGHT 

This week's corporate partner spotlight highlights ISACo's partnership with Nationwide.

Over the past 85 years, focusing on customers and valuing people have helped Nationwide become one of the largest insurance and financial services companies in the world.

Even though Nationwide has dozens of affiliated companies, people are its biggest resource – and its greatest asset in providing excellent customer service to its customers. That's why its Supply Management Services group makes sure agents and associates get the best quality products and services, at the best possible cost. It's also why Nationwide has an Office of Customer Advocacy. 

More information about the services provided by Nationwide is available via this link.

Click on this link to learn more about the benefits and opportunities available through ISACo's Corporate Partner Program.

Become an ISACo Member!

Is your county a member of ISACo? If not, why not?

ISACo is a statewide association whose mission is to empower county officials to provide excellent service to their residents.

ISACo member counties are comprised of forward-thinking public servants who recognize that the challenges confronting county governments require new and innovative ideas, collaborative solutions and collective advocacy at the state and federal levels of government.

Members of the association will benefit from education and training opportunities, peer-to-peer networking, shared resources and robust representation before policymakers at various levels of government. ISACo creates and connects county officials to these opportunities and successfully equips them to make counties ideal places to live, work and play.

If your county is interested in discussing membership in ISACo, please contact Executive Director Joe McCoy at (217) 679-3368 or jmccoy@isacoil.org. ISACo member counties are listed here. Thank you for your consideration.