Automotive Shopping Advice

A review of the Lincoln Town Car BPS, courtesy of Business 2.0:

When choosing an armored vehicle, it’s important to keep in mind how badly someone wants you dead. This will affect your purchase. If your assassin is an amateur — perhaps some punk with a .38, which fires a 158-grain, round-nose lead bullet at a velocity of 850 feet per second — you’ll probably be just fine in an aftermarket armored sedan or the one offered by Cadillac. In fact, even if your enemy comes at you with a .357 Magnum — a serious weapon capable of spitting metal-ripping charges at up to 1,395 feet per second — you’ll probably escape without a scratch in one of those sedans. But if someone really wants to kill you, you’d better be riding in the 2005 Lincoln Town Car Ballistic Protection Series.


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St. Louis Post-Dispatch Sides Against Seniors

In a story entitled "Between a rock and a hard place", the St. Louis Post-Dispatch must choose between tax spending government bureaucrats and senior citizens. And it chooses the government spenders:

Two changes in tax exemptions offered to Illinois taxpayers will mean a decrease in local funding for school districts.

Districts rely on property taxes for a significant part of their budgets.

For the Collinsville School District, that decrease is expected to total close to a $800,000 revenue shortfall for next year.

“We’re not alone with this. All school districts are affected – some more and some less,” said Superintendent Dennis Craft. “But we did not expect this (cut in funding) to this extent.”

The decrease stems from two exemptions. One, called the Homestead Exemption, is offered to senior citizens. The program increased the reduction amount from $2,500 to $3,000 on property assessments.

Another program, called Senate bill 1790, or owner-occupied exemption, increases what can be omitted from property assessments by as much as $1,500 from what was originally set at $3,500. This means that homeowners can potentially pay less in taxes because their property assessments are decreased. Seniors who own a home can take advantage of both exemption programs, saving as much as $8,000 from their home’s assessed value.

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