"Everybody's got a priority list", Terry Bibo, JS columnist writes in today's JS. And the $3 billion she lists doesn't include the $97 million for #150 schools, $100+ million for stormwater controls, $28+ million for new libraries under construction, and $40+ million for a new BelWood Nursing Home. $3 billion is for major expenditures with millions of "wish list priority" projects for the City/County, Park District, Peoria Riverfront Museum, streets and sidewalks and trails to name a few. Not to be overlooked are and growing and under-funded future pension costs.
Overlooked is the millions or billions needed for Illinois River cleanup, dredging, new locks and dams and carp control. Oh, I forgot. That money will come from the Federal Government which all believe is over-spending by far.
Much of this money is being spent in the non-tax paying public sector. Peoria has only two two major industrial firms: Caterpillar with an apparent need to expand elsewhere (keep an eye on the Morton distribution plant as the new plant in Ohio nears completion) and Keystone whose stock trades in the $4 range.
The JSEB header today reads, "A Peoria that works against itself won't see the return of the middle class" is interesting only from the standpoint that what they write is redundant. The middle class will eventually disappear in future years leaving only the somewhat poor and the basically uneducated poor along with a rising upper income class. An upper class that will be able to afford the rising taxes to support the billions in "priority spending" sending their kids to elite schools while those with less money and less scholarships, go to tax supported Community Colleges and State schools.
With many of the upper income folks owning a 2nd home in Florida which they declare as their permanent residence escaping the State of Illinois excessive income tax means less money to help pay the over $5 billion in unpaid bills owed by the state to it's citizens such as the $1,500,000.00 owed to McDonough Hospital in Macomb, just a "tiny" part of the $5 billion past due bills owed to it's citizenry.