News from the Research Desk

News from the Research Desk Blog

EPA Emissions Testing Notices

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Due to the budget crisis in Illinois, the Illinois EPA has suspended the mailing of emissions test notifications.  If you have plates expiring at the end of March 2016 you’ll be the first group of drivers who do not receive a mailed notification for the emissions test.

The EPA encourages drivers to get their emissions test done several weeks before the plate sticker expiration date, particularly should you need to have repairs done if you don’t pass the initial test.  You can have your emissions test done 4 months in advance of when your plates expire.  If your emissions test is not completed and in the system it can cause problems when renewing your plates or drivers license.

The Illinois Secretary of State has an online tool to determine whether your vehicle is due for an emissions test http://www.ilsos.gov/regstatus/

For further information please visit Illinois Environmental Protection Agency: Vehicle Emissions Testing Program

Holiday Safety Tips

Some tips from the National Safety Council for over the holidays to keep you safe as you decorate:

  • – Avoid setting your tree up to close to a fireplace, radiator, or other heat source
  • – Plug no more than 3 strings of lights into one extension cord
  • – Be sure the lights your using indoors are specifically for this purpose, same for outdoor lights.  Inspect old strings of lights for frayed wires, broken lights, etc.
  • – Turn off lights on trees and decorations before going to bed or leaving the house
  • – During your holiday celebrations be sure to freeze or refrigerate food two hours after cooking
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Vehicle Sticker Renewal Notices

motorcyclelgMany of you may have heard, but please be aware that the Secretary of State is no longer mailing out vehicle registration renewal notices due to the state budgetary issues.  The last group of paper notices was mailed out in early September for those who had stickers expiring in October. If your sticker expires in November or after that you won’t be getting your reminder in the mail.

There is an alternative though; you can sign up to get an e-mail notification when you need to renew your  license plate stickers.  You’ll need your registration ID and PIN. The link to the online notification sign-up is https://www.ilsos.gov/greenmail/

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http://www.sj-r.com/article/20150928/NEWS/150929578

How Long to Save Your Important Documents

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Trying to organize your important paperwork and questioning what you need to hold onto and what you can just shred or recycle? Here’s some guidelines as to how long you should keep your documents.

What to Keep for a Limited Time
– Household furnishings paperwork
– Investment purchase confirmations
– Loan documents
– Savings bonds
– Vehicle records

What to Keep for a Year or Less
– Bank records
– Credit-card bills
– Current-year tax records
– Insurance policies
– Investment statements
– Pay stubs
– Receipts

What to Keep for Seven Years
– Federal and State tax returns and supporting documents

What to Never Toss
– Defined-benefit plan documents
– Estate-planning documents
– Life-insurance policies
– Safe-deposit box inventory

For further details see:
How long to keep tax records and other documents (from ConsumerReports.org)
How long should I keep records? (from IRS.gov)

Mount Prospect Entrepreneurs Initiative

There’s exciting news for the Mount Prospect business community in the formation of the Mount Prospect Entrepreneurs Initiative (MPEI). The MPEI is a new and comprehensive partnership between the Mount Prospect Chamber of Commerce, the Village of Mount Prospect, the Mount Prospect Downtown Merchants Association and the Mount Prospect Public Library.

For years, these organizations have collaborated and partnered on various programs and program series like Jump Start Your Business (aimed at small business owners) and the Entrepreneurs Cafe. But in 2016 this collaboration will move to the next level as existing projects, as well as several new ones still in development, are rebranded under the MPEI toward a more streamlined focus on providing support, education and inspiration for the local Mount Prospect business community. Joining forces as the MPEI allows individual partners to further embed themselves into the success and progress of Mount Prospect by sharing resources, ideas and effort toward a common goal, as well as strengthen each member’s role as a community partner with vital resources and opportunities for everyone to discover and utilize. Stay tuned!