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No one is entitled to tax money

WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 29: Associate Justice AntonScaliposes during group photograph Supreme Court building September 29 2009 WashingtDC. The high court

WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 29: Associate Justice Antonin Scalia poses during a group photograph at the Supreme Court building on September 29, 2009 in Washington, DC. The high court made a group photograph with its newest member Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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Updated: July 29, 2012 5:04PM

I am 56 and have lived in Chicago my whole life. I have paid my property taxes every year that I have owned my own home. But now I read in the Sun-Times that even if the value of your property goes down that doesn’t mean your tax bill is going down because — and this is the best part —“the taxing districts are entitled to a certain amount of money.” When did this become a kingdom? When are the taxpayers going to start getting what they are entitled to? Which could start by giving us a fair shake in this whole deal.

Peter Samulis, McKinley Park

Berrios’ nepotism looks bad

How can the County Assessor Joseph Berrios put his relatives on the payroll and give them raises at a time when local residents are seeing their property taxes go up? Nepotism is so rampant in Illinois it should have its own party name.

Vincent Kamin,

Near North Side

High Court makes own laws

So, Justice Antonin Scalia, the executive branch of the federal government does not get to overrule Arizona’s racially biased immigration policies, but the judicial branch does get to dictate the legality of Montana’s laws regarding campaign contributions?

You’re saying that the only non-elected branch of government — the courts — gets to determine when state sovereignty can be ignored?

Welcome to the Supreme Soviet States of America!

Richard A. Kosinski, Edison Park

An entertaining thought

Rupert Murdoch is said to be planning to separate his media conglomerate News Corp. into two parts. One part would contain 20th Century Fox film studio, Fox broadcast network and Fox News channel. The other part would contain the Wall Street Journal, the Times of London, The Sun and and HarperCollins book publishing.

Is it lost on anyone that Fox News channel will find itself in the entertainment wing?

Karen Wagner,

Rolling Meadows

Cuts would hurt nutrition in Chicago

The 2012 farm bill approved last week by the U.S. Senate cut $4.5 billion from federal nutrition assistance funding, which we estimate could eliminate food stamps for 24,000 already hungry Illinois residents, including 5,000 in Chicago.

The Senate bill has moved to the U.S. House. whose own farm bill proposal is aiming to cut as much as $134 billion from food stamp spending. The $4.5 billion Senate food assistance cut would deepen an already overwhelming nutrition problem in Chicago. The $134 billion house cut would spread misery and hunger throughout Illinois and Chicago.

The cuts to supplemental nutrition assistance will undermine the health of poor people with chronic disease like diabetes and HIV/AIDS. These penny-wise and pound foolish cuts will simply drive up costs to the Illinois and federal Medicaid program and drain local economic growth. Each food stamp dollar generates $1.73 in economic activity. In Illinois, as of March 2012, there were 1,856,202 food stamp recipients in Illinois or 14.4% of the population. That is an overall 1.9% jump – or more than 34,000 people – over March 2011. The average monthly food stamp benefit per person in Illinois is $139.15, down from $141.00 in FY 2010.

Cutting food assistance, as the ranks of the food insecure, unemployment continues to be high and food prices increase, incredulously, cuts against the most elemental health and economic common sense and, well, common decency.

Deborah Hinde,

Chief health care strategist,

Vital Bridges Center on Chronic Care/Heartland Health Outreach

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