County: Public 'Truth in Taxation' hearing draws no special interest
Enterprise zone passed for mine
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[November 21, 2008]
New construction brings in
more property taxes
The Logan County Board held a public hearing prior to the
adjourned session on Tuesday evening. Sally Litterly, county clerk
and recorder, said that the "Truth in Taxation" hearing was required
because the amount of tax levy for this year would be more than 105
percent of the amount of property tax extended from the preceding
year of 2007-2008.
The property tax levy amount for 2009 would be $3,226,700.43. This
would be 105.2 percent of the extension of the 2008 levy amount of
$3,067,876.79 and represents an increase of 5.18 percent.
chairman Chuck Ruben took a moment to explain what this meant. He
emphasized that this is not a tax increase and it is not an increase
made by the county. "What it is, is that there was enough new
construction that is going on the tax rolls that it exceeds 105
percent of what we could levy the year before," he said. The
property taxes that would be collected where there has been new
construction raise the amount of all property taxes collected to be
a greater increase than the consumer price index or 5 percent,
whichever is less, which is allowed each year, he said.
No one had any additional question or comment.
Grant helps purchase previously rented building
The board approved the purchase of a building that was previously
rented. The space and rent was shared between the county and Lincoln
Rural Fire Protection District and was used as a government
Illinois state Rep. Bill Mitchell helped secure a $50,000 grant
to help purchase the building so that it could continue to be used
by the county's emergency services.
Property value estimates were reviewed in the finance committee
and approved to recommend to the full board. The property would be
purchased for $125,000, pending an environmental study.
A historical investigation was conducted
and no ground contamination has ever been reported at the site, but
to protect the county in the purchase it was determined that actual
samples should be gathered.
There were 10 votes yes; Terry Werth voted no.
Lincoln/Logan County Enterprise Zone expansion request from mine
There was some hesitation in the request from International Coal
Group, LLC, which owns the mine located just south of Elkhart.
Victoria Kennedy, controller for the mine, said that they did not
understand that they would be obligated to the $20,000 annual fee
for the remaining life of the enterprise zone. The zone is now set
to expire in 2017.
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Kennedy said that the project would be taking place in phases, which
could vary; the project may be changing in scope as it progresses;
and benefits realized by the enterprise zone might not always keep
up with the fees the company would be paying.
Enterprise zone manager Phil Mahler said that he actually expects
the mine to be back to delete some of the current requested areas
and ask for other areas as the project proceeds.
Board member Chuck Ruben pointed out that after the approval, if
things didn't go as anticipated for the mine, the company could come
back to the Logan County Board and Lincoln City Council and ask to
be dropped from the enterprise zone. It would be up to the current
board and council to approve that request.
Ruben asked Kennedy if she would want to go forward, or have it
sent back to committee to negotiate different terms. If the request
went back for negotiation, chairman Dick Logan pointed out that it
would be Dec. 16 before the board would be able to vote on it.
Kennedy asked for the vote.
The board unanimously approved the request. Votes cast did not
include John Stewart, as he was absent for the evening.