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It’s time to talk

Published: Monday, May 5, 2014 5:02 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, May 5, 2014 5:08 p.m. CDT

In June of 2010, Illinois Valley Community College representatives began approaching Putnam County and Marquis Energy LLC officials regarding mistakes that were made by county officials in 1. Inaccurately setting the partial year assessed value of the Marquis ethanol plant located in Putnam County, and 2. Incorrectly abating real estate taxes to be paid on the plant.

College officials also reached out to the administrator for the Bureau-Putnam County Enterprise Zone for assistance in resolving these matters. The college was unable to convince the parties to correct their mistakes. Therefore, in order to protect the college’s tax base and all other taxpayers, the college had no choice but to take legal action.  Unfortunately, the legal action has resulted in significant costs to the college, Putnam County and Marquis Energy LLC.

Since 2010, the college has continued seeking resolution by reaching out to Marquis Energy LLC and Putnam County officials.  The college even went so far as to hire an expert to provide a factual appraisal of the plant showing its assessed value to be more than four times higher than what Marquis Energy LLC officials are contending.

In these financially uncertain times, when the state refuses to pay its fair share of the operating costs for community colleges and the burden is shifted to students and taxpayers, a $42 million difference in appraised value is substantial to IVCC — approximately $154,000 per year. When all property taxpayers do not pay their fair share, the burden is shifted to those of us who do — in Putnam County and across the college district.

The time has come to meet face to face with Marquis and Putnam County representatives in an effort to bring this dispute to closure. Their failure and refusal to do so is not fair to the district’s taxpayers or students.

Jerry Corcoran,

IVCC president


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