Estimate: Illinois to lose $212 million in online taxes
SPRINGFIELD | The state of Illinois has released a new estimate saying it will lose $212 million in unpaid sales taxes from online purchases during 2013.
The Illinois Department of Revenue released the new estimate, which is up from 2012's $183 million estimate. The State Journal-Register in Springfield reports that including the 2013 figure losses for Illinois over the last five years would total $820 million.
The updated figure comes as lawmakers in Washington consider legislation that would give states the power to collect sales taxes from Internet purchases.
The revenue department says Illinois collected about $12 million in sales taxes from self-reported online purchases in 2012. That's up $500,000 from 2011. A spokeswoman says that's largely taxes on bigger-ticket items, like boats, and not smaller items, like books.
Damage assessments continuing after Illinois flooding
SPRINGFIELD | Damage assessments done across Illinois after last month's flooding have found nearly 3,700 damaged homes in 14 counties.
The Illinois Department of Emergency Management says state and federal teams have spent nearly two weeks surveying homes. The effort includes four state teams, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Small Business Administration and local officials.
IEMA director Jonathon Monken says flooding impacted 49 counties in Illinois. He says teams are continuing to collect information needed to apply for federal assistance. President Barack Obama approved federal assistance Friday for 11 Illinois counties.
State and federal teams also have started meeting with local government officials to document flood-related expenses.
14-year-old boy charged as adult in southern Illinois homicide
GRANITE CITY | A 14-year-old boy will now face murder charges as an adult in southern Illinois.
The boy was originally charged as a juvenile in the shooting death of a 54-year-old Charles Weiss of Granite City. But the Belleville News-Democrat reports that a recent juvenile court ruling moved the boy's case to adult criminal court. A 16-year-old boy and two 15-year-old boys also are charged as adults in Madison County.
The four are charged with first-degree murder and suspected in Weiss' November killing. Police say Weiss was shot in an alley and told officers "they tried to rob me" before he died of his injuries.
Two charged after shootout with FBI in northern Illinois
RICHMOND | The FBI has identified a Chicago man killed in a shootout with agents outside a northern Illinois bank.
The FBI on Saturday said 45-year-old Tony Starnes and two other men were allegedly intending to rob Associated Bank in Richmond when the shootout happened Friday. The other two men were arrested. The FBI identified them as 34-year-old Roberto Favela of Chicago and 40-year-old Aaron Russell of Orland Hills. Favela and Russell are each charged with one felony count of attempted bank robbery.
FBI officials say special agents were tracking Russell and others in connections with armed robberies of Chicago-area jewelry stores and a bank robbery in Poplar Grove.
Favela and Russell did not have listed phone numbers.
Richmond is a small town near the Illinois-Wisconsin state line.
Western Illinois nutrition program suffers federal cuts
QUINCY | Organizers with the West-Central Illinois Nutrition Project say they're suffering after $27,000 in federal funding cuts.
Project director Gail Murry says the group has had to cut three meal sites, weekend meals and their frozen-meal program. The program also now only serves lunch on weekdays. The Quincy Herald-Whig reports the project's six sites in six western Illinois counties served about 67,800 meals during fiscal year 2012. The project delivered another nearly 117,500 meals to home.
But during the first seven months of fiscal year 2013 the project has served about 28,800 meals and delivered about 37,400 meals to homes.
Murry says the group is feeding "a frail, vulnerable population." She says they're "feeling the pinch." Murry says now she's wondering what's next.