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Recent Issues

May 2016 – The Sycamore Chamber took an official stance opposing the  County School Facility Occupation Tax. The DeKalb School District and four other districts in DeKalb County are pursuing a 1 percent sales tax increase in the form of a County School Facility Occupation Tax. The Chamber feels strongly that this would have an adverse affect on our local economy.  Position Statement in Opposition to County School Facility Occupation Tax 2016

May 2016 – The Sycamore Chamber wrote a letter supporting the Sycamore Park District’s Grant Application to the Illinois Department of Transportation for their Trail Project. Park District Letter of Support 2016

March 2016 – Committee met and discussed the one percent sales tax increase, a County School Facility Occupation Tax, that the DeKalb School District is likely going to pursue. Also attended an informational meeting hosted by the DeKalb School District regarding the issue. Those in attendance heard a presentation from Ann Noble with Stifel Nicolaus Financial Consulting and it was followed by a question and answer session. It was determined that an additional meeting had to be scheduled to clarify the exact net dollar amount that this tax would produce.

February 2016 – Committee met with DeKalb County Building & Development Association Representatives and the Sycamore City Manager, Brian Gregory to discuss and review Sycamore’s Impact and Connection Fees. It was determined that there was no need for  the Chamber to take a position at this point.

January 2016 – Participated in a planning workshop with the Sycamore City Council and Planning Commission to discuss the annexation and rezoning of the Northwest Sub Area Plan and the corresponding regulations outlined in the Unified Development Ordinance.

August 2015 – Appointed to Mayor’s Ad Hoc Committee on Growth Management. Discussions focused on Connection Fees, Land Cash Ordinances and Impact Fees.

April 2015 –  Participated in discussions facilitated by Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti, Robert Pritchard, Senator Dave Syverson, and Representative Tom Demmer about government consolidation and unfunded mandates.

The Lt. Governor was appointed to lead a task force under the Governor’s Executive Order 15-15 to find ways for the state to consolidate its more than 7,000 units of local government thereby reducing duplication and mismanagement, and improving operating efficiencies.  Illinois has the highest local government taxes in the nation, including the 10th highest sales tax and 2nd highest property taxes.

The state currently imposes more than 280 unfunded mandates at a cost to local communities in the billions of dollars.  However, not all mandates are undesirable; for example some can save taxpayers money and improve safety while others provide citizens with information so they can be more engaged in their government.

November 2014 – The Committee met with State Representative Bob Pritchard and Sycamore School District Officials to discuss the DeKalb County School Occupation Sales Tax.  Area school superintendents said they have discussed the possibility of a countywide sales tax for school facilities, but say school board members have not shown interest in bringing the measure to voters. We will keep an eye on this issue.

October 2014 – The Committee has with State Representative Bob Pritchard and Sycamore School District Officials to discuss Senate Bill 16 (SB16). This bill will make sweeping changes in how the state funds education. SB16 does not increase the level of education funding, but changes the way in which limited state funding is apportioned among school districts.  The Illinois State Board of Education has calculated the amount each school district would receive next year if SB16, as written, becomes law. District 427 would lose $591,803 per year. This loss of state funds is on top of the $3.2 million dollars that our school district has lost over the last four years due to funds being pro-rated. Will meet again in 2015 to discuss a possibly taking a position.

 October 2014 – As the voice for our business community and as reinforced by our recent member survey, we oppose raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour. We wrote a letter to the Governor and our State Legislators opposing the increase, and asking them to do the same.

Our small businesses cannot afford to have the highest minimum wage in the nation. One of the serious consequences of raising the minimum wage is that our local business owners, saddled with a higher cost of labor, will need to cut costs, or pass the increase to their consumers in order to make ends meet. Many of the businesses that pay their workers minimum wage operate on extremely tight profit margins, with any increase in the cost of labor threatening this delicate balance.
Increases in the minimum wage fall disproportionately on small businesses who are the least able to absorb dramatic increase in labor costs. Business owners are already dealing with the relatively high costs of doing business in Illinois, such as workers’ compensation costs and unemployment insurance costs, and uncertainty about the impact of the Affordable Care Act. There are only so many dollars to go around and this can worsen an already adverse business environment in which employer’s bare costs that are stifling their ability to grow and create jobs.

The Sycamore Chamber of Commerce, representing 500 businesses in DeKalb County urges you to oppose the minimum wage increase.  We urge you to vote no, stop the minimum wage hike and show our member businesses  that you support a positive environment for business in Illinois.

2014 – September – The Sycamore Chamber encourages voters to study the Park District’s Vision 2020 proposal in order to make an informed and educated decision regarding the vote on November 4.

We sent a letter in support of a healthy Park District to our local media venues and our members.

The Sycamore Chamber believes that a strong park district is not only invaluable to the community but also imperative to the growth and sustainability of a thriving business culture. Therefore, it is in the Chamber’s best interest to inform our members of the park district’s efforts to maintain and expand opportunities for our residents.
On behalf of our almost 500 member businesses, organizations and non-profits we commend the Sycamore Park District’s leadership for their thoughtful and prudent approach addressing expansion needs. We encourage members of the community to educate themselves and view the Park Board video on the Vision 2020 plan. The video is an informative piece on the history of how this measure came to be on the ballot.

2014 – August – Supported DeKalb County Community Foundations Advancing DeKalb County Initiative

2014 – June – Wrote a letter of support for Kishwaukee College for the TriO Student Support Services Program

2013 – On behalf of the Board of Directors and the Sycamore Chamber of Commerce, representing over 500 businesses from our community, we would like to offer a letter of support for Greater Elgin Family Care Center (GEFCC) New Access Point application to secure HRSA/BPHC funding to develop a Community Health Center in DeKalb County.

2012 – March — The Chamber Executive Director attended a City Council Meeting and spoke on behalf of its 500 plus Businesses. The Chamber supported the City’s plan for the 100 Block of West Exchange Street to be kept open for two way traffic when the Courthouse expansion is complete. It was voted on and passed with a 5 to 3 vote that evening.

2012 – August – Sycamore Chamber sends letter to Governor Pat Quinn requesting him to veto the Leucadia Bill, SB 3766.

At a time when natural gas prices are dropping, this bill would force Nicor Gas and Ameren customers to pay more than triple the current gas rates to cover the construction and operation of a $3 billion “clean coal” plant in Chicago. One analysis found that the measure would slam Illinois consumers and businesses with $2.4 billion in higher rates over the first decade alone.

Our local businesses are constantly being challenged by increased costs, decreasing revenue and the ever present threat of higher state and local taxes.  If this bill passes in its current form it will undoubtedly create even more burden for many businesses in the form of higher energy costs.  The perception that Illinois State Government has imposed yet another obstacle to our local employers will further inhibit their ability to grow and employ the jobless. This will be difficult to overcome with only the prospect of promised short term construction jobs. Furthermore the known costs and mechanism for subsidy place too great a burden with too few and yet many uncertain benefits, on not just the state’s businesses, but all ratepayers and the citizens of Illinois. We respectfully ask him to evaluate the claims of Leucadia supporters based on the known facts and to weigh their merit. We ask Governor Quinn to show the businesses of Illinois, including our 450 Chamber members, that Illinois supports a positive environment for business.Governor vetos bill!

2011 – October – Sycamore Chamber again opposes Tanaska Bill, SB 2488, and sends letter to Senator Christine Johnson requesting a no vote. Bill defeated in Springfield.

– Chamber opposes Tanaska Bill, sends letter to Senator Brad Burzinski requesting a no vote. Bill defeated in Springfield!

2011- The Chamber opposes the 1/2 % home rule tax increase proposed by Sycamore City Council.

2011Healthy Families Act – Requires certain employers, who employ 15 or more employees for each working day during 20 or more workweeks a year, to provide a minimum paid sick leave of: (1) seven days annually for those who work at least 30 hours per week; and (2) a prorated annual amount for those who work less than 30 but at least 20 hours a week, or less than 1,500 but at least 1,000 hours per year.

 

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