Just a few minutes before noon today, the Illinois Supreme Court filed an order that requires any Chicago ballots that are printed to include the name of mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel.
An appeals panel ruled 2-1 against Emanuel on Monday, saying he did not establish his residency in Chicago during the past year. At issue in that case was different wording between the rules that protect government workers as voters — regardless of place of permanent residence — and rules that protect political candidates.
By stepping in to grant at least part of Emanuel’s emergency motion, the state Supreme Court keeps Emanuel’s hopes alive in the race for mayor.
The mayoral contest was sparked by word that the incumbent, Mayor Richard M. Daley, will not seek re-election. He was first elected in 1989 and his term will end May 16.
Emanuel is the former chief of staff for President Barack Obama and that’s where his residency problems started.
As noted previously, Emanuel is leading in several polls and has a large campaign fund, as well as high-profile backing such as that of former President Bill Clinton.
Two members of a three-judge appeals panel ruled Monday that Rahm Emanuel has not met the residency requirements and may not be on ballots in the Chicago mayoral election.
Emanuel, a former congressman and chief of staff for President Barack Obama, hopes the Illinois Supreme Court will overrule the appeals court decision — if the high court chooses to make a ruling.
The appeals panel was not unanimous. The 2-1 decision had Shelvin Louise Marie Hall and Thomas E. Hoffman ruling that Emanuel did not have residency under Illinois law. Justice Bertha E. Lampkin dissented, saying state law that allows politicians and appointees to retain residency is clearly in Emanuel’s favor.
The Chicago mayor’s race will be decided Feb. 22, so the ruling’s timing is problematic for Emanuel, who is leading in several polls and has a mountain of campaign cash at his disposal.
When Illinois legislators approved income tax hikes that take the personal income tax to 5 percent from 3 percent and hiked the corporate income tax to 7 percent from 4.8 percent, lots of Illinois taxpayers and business leaders said higher taxes would drive people out of the state.
Not everyone was convinced. A map of tax rates in surrounding states shows that Illinois has a lower personal income tax rate than all except one surrounding state. Corporate income taxes will be lower in Illinois than in all but two surrounding states.
Illinois business leaders say they pay a 2.5 percent personal property replacement tax as well. By their reasoning, the combined tax on corporations is 9.5 percent.
In either case, the efforts by Wisconsin’s governor to draw away Illinois residents or businesses might be a hard sell since Wisconsin has a higher individual income tax rate and a higher corporate income tax rate before the PPRT is imposed.
Taxpayers who were gripping their wallets on the day when newly-elected members of Congress took their oaths of office got good news. Tax day will be delayed until April 18.
The Internal Revenue Service announced that taxpayers will be able to file income tax returns until Monday, April 18. The IRS made the change because Emancipation Day, which is celebrated in the District of Columbia, will fall on Friday, April 15 — the traditional tax day.
In 2012, the holiday schedule will move tax day to April 16.
For those 140 million tax filers, the IRS will launch a new “Where’s my Refund” tool at the web site.
Procrastinators, and those who want to keep their money just a few hours longer, will be gratified by those changes.