Mt. Vernon Register-News

January 21, 2014

District 80 joins MVTHS on tax issue


The Register-News

---- — By TRAVIS MORSE

travis.morse@register-news.com

MT. VERNON — District 80 has agreed to join Mt. Vernon Township High School in filing an objection to a recent appeal seeking to lower the market value of Truck Centers, Inc.

The truck dealer, located at 621 S. 45th St., is seeking to reduce its 2012 market value from $2,778,498 to $1,920,000. The firm’s Equalized Assessed Valuation for that year would drop from $926,166 to $640,000.

This would result in Truck Centers paying considerably less in property taxes, and District 80 and MVTHS could stand to lose significant revenue.

“We would get less taxes from the Truck Center,” said District 80 Superintendent Mike Green. “We understand where they’re coming from, but (this is) about protecting money for the students and the staff.”

The tax appeal issue was discussed briefly at a meeting Saturday of the District 80 Board of Education.

Green explained to the board that it’s common for District 80 and MVTHS to work together on tax appeal interventions of this nature.

He said he will consult with MVTHS Superintendent Michael Smith and District 80 legal counsel on the intervention.

“It’s not like we’re angry at the Truck Center,” Green said. “It’s just a matter of they’re doing business, we’re doing business, and so there’s a process that plays out.”

No time frame has been provided for when the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board will make a ruling on the Truck Centers appeal.

Also on Saturday, Green revealed that the district will pay its last bills for the recent $6.5 million Casey Middle School expansion/renovation by the end of this month.

So far, the newly renovated campus has been well-received by students and faculty, Green said.

The district, though, may fund some additional landscaping work on the north side of the building to improve its appearance, he said.

In addition Saturday, the board approved a $10 per-hour increase in the attorney fees it pays to the Canna & Canna law firm out of Chicago. The per-hour rate the district pays will rise from $210 to $220, Green said.

Green said the district has been very satisfied with the law firm’s work.

“It’s nice to have a good legal team,” Green said. “I think they do outstanding work.”

Other District 80 Board actions Saturday included:

n Approval of the hiring of Susan Aaron as a part-time homebound instructor, and Hannah Bair as a part-time early childhood individual aide at the Dr. Andy Hall Early Childhood Center.

n Hearing of a report on the district’s Head Start program.

n Discussion of state reimbursements to the district.