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Stock Up Chicago!

boozeWell, in case you missed it, Chicago (actually all of Illinois)  is implementing yet another tax and this one affects your drinking, sweet tooth, and, for some of you, sanitary habits.  Yep, starting Tuesday, Illinois is raising taxes on booze, candy, and dandruff shampoo.  However, not all taxes or items are created equal in Illinois!

The dandruff shampoo is the clearest – unless a doctor prescribes the shampoo, you’ll see a tax increase to 6.25%.  On the other hand, what constitutes candy is up for grabs.  Chocolate bar = candy (6.25% now).  Chocolate covered peanuts = food (so no tax increase and stays at 1%).  Makes sense, right?  Only in Illinois!

The highest tax increase, though, affects booze and is based on the product’s alcohol content and is calculated by the gallon.  Technically, the distributor is the only one facing a tax increase; however, I think we all know that the tax increase will quickly make its way to all of us.  So, just how much is this tax increase? A six pack of beer goes from 10.4 cents to 13 cents, a bottle of wine increases from 13 cents to 28 cents, and a fifth of most spirits jumps from 90 cents to $1.71 – ouch all around!

For those who wonder where this money is going, the state plans to use it for public works projects like roads and schools.  I’m sure they’re starting with the giant pothole right outside my house.

So, if you live in Illinois, spend today (Monday) stocking up on dandruff shampoo, candy (if you can figure out what is candy and what is food), and booze before the latest in a series of tax increases takes place.  Or, have a flaky scalp, cavity-free teeth, and a happy liver and use your money savings for other vices!

Thanks for reading Bright-Yellow!

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Olympic Day

No matter where you live in the world, today is Olympic Day. Haven’t heard of Olympic Day (because you don’t live in a bid city like I do)? No problem, here’s the scoop – 115 years ago today Pierre de Frédy, Baron de Coubertin built the Olympic Games into the grand spectacle that we all know it to be. He created the Olympic Charter and Protocol, the athletes’ oath, and the opening and closing ceremonies. Baron de Coubertin was the head of the International Olympic Committee from 1896 – 1925 and he is the only IOC head to hold the title of Honorary President of the Olympic Games – after him, the IOC agreed that no other president could receive the honor.

Now I’m not sure if the Baron was a runner, but the world seems to celebrate Olympic Day with runs around the world. Here in Chicago, I began my day volunteering at a kids fun run at Washington Park (where, if Chicago wins the bid, the 2016 Olympic Village will be). Kids from Chicago Park District camps around the city came to the park and ran 400 metres in the heat while volunteers like me made sure that they had plenty of water and stayed in the shade until the run began (as a matter of fact, Chicagoans, I will apparently be on CLTV later today talking about this!). Grown-ups have their chance to run in Chicago (3-mile) at 6PM at either Irving Park & Lake Shore Drive or Balbo Drive & Lake Shore Drive. For more information on the runs, please click here.

Again, in Chicago, if you’re not a runner, come on down to the celebration party at North Avenue Beach at 7PM. Enjoy a free concert from the Freddy Jones Band and U2 cover band Elevation. The beach will have lots of Olympic Bid info as well as sports demonstrations (soccer, wheelchair Basketball, kayaking, and archery).

Don’t live in Chicago? Don’t worry! Here is a link to the over 150 cities in the world hosting Olympic Day festivities. For details on what is happening in each city, visit that city’s Web site.

Thanks for reading Bright-Yellow!