Illinois Owes Us Residents a Good Month

August 01, 2011

Today is August 1, and many Chicago homeowners and Illinois residents are having no problem saying bye to July.


Let’s start with the weather. The first three weeks of last month had us on track as one of the driest months of July on record.

flooded basements

Many Chicago-area homeowners spent part of July cleaning up after massive rains flooded homes.

Then the rains came.

On July 23, Chicago recorded 6.68 inches of rain, setting a record for the largest one-day rainfall in city history.

That weekend dumped close to 8.41 inches of rain on the Chicago area, flooding homes, especially in the northern suburbs, closing roads and causing power outages.

From July 27-29, the area got more than two inches of rain.

When all was said and done, Chicago received 11.15 inches of rain in July 2011, easily blowing away the old July record of 9.56 inches set back in 1889, making this the rainiest July ever.

The first seven months of 2011 had more precipitation than any other year with 33.74 inches. The old record was 30.25 inches from January 1 to July 31 in 1950.

July 2011 was also the third warmest on record dating back to 1928, with a dozen days of temperatures in the 90s.

The average temperature was 80.4 degrees, and that included highs and lows.

There was something else discovered in July that we would all like to forget: Illinois ended the 2010 fiscal year as the most broke state in the country.

piggy bank with an IOU sign sticking outIllinois was in debt $37.9 billion as of July 1, 2010, according to a financial audit by the Illinois Auditor General William Holland and Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka.

Our state was so broke that is borrowed $1.4 billion from unknowing taxpayers, and that’s why you may have gotten your tax refund so late.

When comparing debts to assets in fiscal 2010, Illinois was one of only four states with a deficit. And of those four, we were $10 billion more in debt than the second worse-off state in the nation, New Jersey.

That’s not going to help us create jobs or keep businesses here in our state.

According to U. of I. economics professor Fred Giertz, Illinois’ money troubles are not just the result of the recession, but also of mismanagement over the past decade.

Some of the blame can be put upon former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who promised he would not raise taxes upon taking office in 2003. But the state was in a small recession at the time, and he did nothing to cut spending, and that’s one of the reasons we are where we are today.

Blagojevich was recently convicted on 17 counts of corruption in federal court for other wrong-doings. A judge today set a tentative sentencing date of October 6.

Good-bye, July. Hello, August. Check back to Chicagoland Real Estate Forum later today for some positive things to look forward to this month.

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