May 4 , 2006
Volume III, No. 25
Senate Bill 711, the ISVMA Sales Tax Clarification bill, will not be called for a vote in the House of Representatives before the end of the current Spring Session of the Illinois General Assembly. The bill passed the Senate 59-0 and has broad support in the House. The leadership in the House, however, has chosen not to allow the bill to be voted upon at this time. The House sponsor of the bill has indicated that he will attempt to have the bill advanced in the Fall Veto Session.
In the meantime, the Illinois Department of Revenue (DOR) still has not clarified the definition of veterinary tax compliance and they continue to operate under policies that ignore 35 ILCS 115 which intends that the transfer of tangible personal property in conjunction with providing professional veterinary services results in the transfer being subject to the Service Occupation Tax (i.e. flea and tick preventatives).
What this means is that the Illinois veterinary profession is still not protected against the unfair audit practices of the Illinois DOR. We will continue to advocate a resolution in the hope of providing some protection to our members.
I want to thank the hundreds of veterinarians who have supported our lobbying effort on this important bill. We have certainly raised awareness of among the members of the legislature and in the Governor's office. We need to continue to press for a political resolution to the problem.
It is VITAL that we start compiling information to demonstrate the impact of the DOR audit practices. If you have been audited (or have been notified of the DOR's intention to conduct an audit during the past five years) please fill out the ISVMA Audit Survey.
If you know other practices that have been audited or have been notified of the DOR's intent to audit, please ask them to complete this survey, as well. We need a comprehensive picture of the impact on veterinary practices to continue building pressure on the legislature to deal with this issue.
If you need more information, please contact Peter Weber, ISVMA Executive Director at (217) 523-8387.
There are a number of things you should do if you are contacted by the Department or Revenue for the purposes of scheduling an audit:
1. Fill out the ISVMA Audit Survey Form.
2. Contact the ISVMA Tax Consultants (Mike Scaduto or Joe Bartletti at (217) 527-1700. They can assist you with the audit and are intimately familiar with the issues involved.
3. Contact your State Senator, State Representative and the Governor to notify them that you have been audited and the legislature has not addressed the inconsistency, unfairness and inaccuracy of the DOR audit procedures. ISVMA can assist you with this letter by sharing a sample letter for you to send. This letter can be sent using the ISVMA Legislative Action Center.
4. Keep ISVMA informed of the status of your audit.
Dr. Roy Barnes from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine will discuss: Dermal Masses - Approach to Therapy; and Urethrostomies - The Why's and When's of Clinical Practice. The program is on Wednesday May 31, 2006 at Joliet Junior College from 6:00 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. The program qualifies for 3 hours of CE credit. You may direct any questions on the program to the program chair.
Illinois has many veterinarians as well as other individuals who contribute significantly to the veterinary medical profession. Their passion is reflected in their work and words and the ISVMA wants to recognize the actions of these exceptional individuals.
Each year at the ISVMA annual convention, two awards are presented to individuals to honor their outstanding contributions in Illinois. All honorees must meet the basic requirements of being both an ISVMA member and a graduate of a veterinary college.
The ISVMA Awards Committee is currently taking nominations through August 31, 2006 for the following honors:
The Erwin Small First Decade Award recognizes a graduate of a veterinary college who has been practicing veterinary medicine for less than ten years. Additionally, they must have supported the goals and mission of the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association through leadership and/or participation in programs approved by the ISVMA.
The Veterinary Service Award is a meritorious award designed to honor those giving special attention to, or promotion of, the human-animal bond in Illinois as well as demonstrating outstanding work as an Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association member.
Nominations must be submitted before August 31, 2006 to the ISVMA office either by fax at (217) 523-7981 or by mail to ISVMA, 133 South Fourth Street, Suite 202, Springfield IL 62701. Winners will be notified in October 2006 and will be presented with their award at the ISVMA’s Annual Convention in Itasca on November 5th, 2006.
Remember to mark your calendar for the ISVMA 124th Annual Convention on November 3-5, 2006 at the Wyndham Chicago Northwest Hotel in Itasca, IL.
Our convention continues to establish new standards of excellence. The convention planning committee has put together a program that will be blow you away! You will be amazed at the speaker lineup, the quality topics, expanded wetlabs and more. Look for more information from ISVMA in the coming weeks.
Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis) are small thrushes (approximately seven inches in length) with short black bills and chestnut breasts, throats, and flanks. The chestnut of the throat extends to the sides of the neck. The belly and undertail coverts are white. Males are deep blue on the head, nape, back, wings, and tail. Females have gray-blue upperparts with a gray-brown wash on the back. There is a thin, white eye ring. The wings and tail are washed with dull blue. The female’s orange underparts are paler than those of the male.
The natural nesting place of Eastern Bluebirds is in tree cavities, often those that have been excavated by woodpeckers. Modern forestry practices that favor the removal of dead and hollow trees and tree limbs, and the removal of aged and diseased orchard trees, have contributed to population declines. Competition for nest sites from introduced European Starlings and House Sparrows, particularly where suitable holes are scarce, has worsened the situation. Currently, Eastern Bluebird populations are increasing in some regions as the number of natural nesting sites has been augmented with artificial nesting boxes. Eastern Bluebirds are semicolonial nesters and tend to nest where other bluebirds have already settled.
In late summer and fall, Eastern Bluebirds forage together in family groups. In winter, these family groups join others as flocks of 10 to 50 birds. During severe weather, they may roost together within tree cavities in tight clusters. Migration is associated with weather severity and food availability. Within an area, some individuals migrate while others remain, so that migrating bluebirds may hopscotch over residents.
Eastern Bluebirds typically feed by dropping down from low perches to capture grasshoppers and other insects and arthropods on the ground. They have good eyesight and can locate small food items from more than 100 feet away. In late summer and winter, small fleshy fruits are an important part of their diet, but over the course of the year, about 70 percent of the diet is invertebrates. Good bluebird habitat includes open grassy areas with little or no understory, perches for "drop-foraging," and suitable nest sites close by. Such habitat is found in orchards, clear-cuts, burned-over areas, and at the edges of upland woodlands and swamps.
Eastern Bluebird populations declined in recent years to as low as 17 percent of their previous numbers in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Reasons postulated for this decline include severe winters, harmful effects from the use of pesticides to control fire ants, and competition with other hole nesters for increasingly scarce nest sites.
I photographed this male Eastern Bluebird in Vermilion County, Illinois in May 2006.
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State Veterinary Medical Association
Phone: (217) 523-8387
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