Quad Cities business at center of court battle

May 14, 2013

Can the state of Illinois grant a permanent property tax exemption to a private, for-profit business ? That's the question for a court battle getting started in the Quad Cities. IPR’s Herb Trix reports: 

 Last year, the general assembly and governor approved a bill exempting Elliott Aviation in Moline from paying property taxes. And in return the company promised a substantial expansion of its aviation services business at the Quad City Airport. 

But the Moline School District has gone to court challenging the constitutionality of the exemption - superintendent David Moyer says it will cost his district 150,000 dollars a year.

 “It’s not only the $150,000…it’s the precedent of establishing a for-profit industry as being tax-exempt, that sets into motion a whole variety of things that could potentially be damaging to the district’s best interest down the road,” Moyer says. The exemption was scheduled to take effect June 1st, but a circuit judge granted a temporary injunction to the district, and blocked it for now.  By one estimate, Elliott paid a total of $220,000 dollars in local property taxes last year - to the school district, county, city, and community college district.