State rep seeks to establish shared business corridor in south suburbs
Defender Staff Report
State Rep. Thaddeus Jones, D- Calumet City, announced Friday taht the House Revenue and Finance Committeed approved House Bill 212, which Jones sponsored, that makes way for municipalities expe- riencing economic hardship band together to create deal with their struggles.
The bill allows for the establish- ment of business corridors and tax incentives in an effort to attract busi- nesses to the suburban areas and cre- ate jobs.
“Communities in our region are struggling to dvelop sectors that bor-
der other municipalities, and I feel that a lot more could be accom- plished if municipalities work together rather than going it alone,” Jones said in a a written statement. “This bill will give municipalities a new tool to attract more business to the area and create jobs.”
Under the proposed legislation, which is headed to the full House for a vote, two towns could enter into an intergovernmental agreement to cre- ate a business district that encom- passes undeveloped areas along a shared border.
Then, the towns would work with taxing bodies within the established district and seek property tax abate-
ments for property that is undevel- oped or underdeveloped, and would likely not be developed without the business corridor or the tax incen- tives, Jones explains in the state- ment.
“It is one of my priorities as state representative to give communities the tools they need to deal with the ongoing economic downturn at the local level,” the Democrat said. “Without this bill, these undevel- oped and underdeveloped areas would likely be overlooked. This will help create jobs in my district and ultimately foster business growth across the state.”
Health care changes taking root in nation
by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar
WASHINGTON - A year after President Barack Obama signed his health care overhaul, the law remains so divisive that Americans can't even agree on what to call it. Even so, it is tak- ing root in the land.
Whether it grows is another matter. Loopholes on credit card rules closed
The sweeping new credit card reg- ulations enacted last year were intended to protect consumers from numerous deceptive billing practices. But a few card issuers responded by looking for ways to get around the spirit of the rules.
Now the Federal Reserve is mov- ing to shut the loopholes. On Friday, the Fed approved amendments to clarify any lingering confusion issuers might have about certain aspects of the law. The amendments go into effect Oct. 1.
Here's the gist of the Fed's tweaks: THE REGULATION: Card issuers must consider an applicant's ability to repay debt before approving new or higher credit lines. THE CLARIFICATION: Banks cannot request "household income" on card applications to assess a con- sumer's ability to pay. The Fed says the term is too vague and doesn't accurately reflect the applicant's financial standing. Instead, issuers must consider the applicant's individ- ual income or salary. THE REGULATION: Total fees
charged in the first year of the account are capped at 25 percent of the credit line. After that, there is no cap on fees.
THE CLARIFICATION: Any
application fee or other charges a consumer is required to pay before an account is opened counts toward the
limit on first-year fees. THE REGULATION: Card issuers cannot hike or revoke promotional interest rates.
THE CLARIFICATION: The
same rule applies to the waiver of interest charges. For example, a card
issuer may now promise a promo- tional waiver for 70 percent of inter- est charges during an introductory period. The Fed says such waivers can't be revoked unless the account becomes more than 60 days delin- quent. AP
Polls show that about 1 in 8 Americans believe they have been personally helped already, well before the main push to cover the uninsured scheduled for 2014.
Still, issues of affordability and complexity guarantee ongo- ing problems, even if the Supreme Court upholds the land- mark legislation that made health insurance both a right and a responsibility.
Supporters call it the Affordable Care Act, a shortened
version of the official title Democrats gave their massive bill. It may be better known as "Obamacare," the epithet used by Republicans seeking its demise.
While Obama returns from
Latin America on the signing anniversary Wednesday, admin- istration officials will fan out across the country. Community commemorations that start Monday come as the health care battle moves to the states. Even states suing to nullify the law's requirement that most Americans carry health insur- ance are proceeding with build- ing blocks of the new system. Families, small businesses and seniors are starting to feel the impact of dozens of insurance changes already in place. Interviews with people affected reveal it's not always clear-cut. AP
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