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An ongoing court battle over alleged lost property tax revenue between Illinois Valley Community College, and Marquis Energy, LLC and Putnam County has taken a legal step forward.
The 3rd District Appellate Court recently ruled IVCC followed proper procedure for filing its complaint and that the circuit court can continue to hear the matter.
“We are pleased with the result and hopeful the matter will soon be resolved in a way that is fair to all parties involved,” IVCC board attorney Walt Zukowski said.
In 2011, IVCC named Marquis into its lawsuit against Putnam County Board, clerk and treasurer in an effort to recover an estimated $1.4 million over 10 years in property taxes.
In 2006, IVCC signed on to the Bureau-Putnam Enterprise Zone with restrictions. The resolution adopted by the board was to only abate taxes on properties with improvements that resulted in an increase of square footage after July 1, 2007.
However, IVCC claims before that date, the Marquis development was finished and on the tax roll. But shortly thereafter, the ethanol plant’s tax bill was amended so that it didn’t pay IVCC any property taxes.
Zukowski has said the college believes there should be no abatement and the entire property should be included on the tax rolls.
“It is our position that the Putnam County ethanol plant owned by Marquis, which began operation in 2008, did not meet these conditions,” Zukowski said. “However, the Putnam County Clerk abated taxes attributable to the ethanol plant that would have otherwise been paid to the college.”
Failure to follow the resolution’s conditions has resulted in other taxpayers paying more and a loss of tax revenue to IVCC, Zukowski said.
“After it became apparent we could not resolve this controversy informally, IVCC filed suit in circuit court to obtain the abated tax revenue,” he said.
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