Tax dispute

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County clerk wants apology

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RANTOUL, Ill. (WCIA)– The Champaign County Clerk says the Superintendent of Rantoul City Schools is accusing his office of making a mistake that could potentially cost the district more than a hundred thousand dollars. “Their claim is that we did not give them correct information about when the TIF was coming off the tax rolls,” said Champaign County Clerk Aaron Ammons.

The village board did not extend the 23 year old TIF district last year. Last week the Superintendent of Rantoul City Schools, Michelle Ramage, said for the 15 years she’s been superintendent they have relied on the county clerk’s office to provide accurate information to base their tax levy. Ammons says the district should have taken more responsibility.

“That window of when the TIF came off in April 2019. That was their signal of when they should have started to look closely at that to see how they would adjust their levy for the TIF coming off so they could actually access that money,” said Ammons, ” He says the district should have taken action. “I spoke with our state’s attorney about this as well as other county clerks and there is nothing in the statutes that says that is my responsibility. In fact, the state’s attorney says my office should not guide, advise, or track TIF’s for any levying body or their financial offices.”

He said no one spoke up until it was too late for them to help. Now he wants the district to admit they were at fault. “I want an apology from Ms. Ramage at the next school board meeting is what I’m asking for and for her to apologize to me and my office trying to undermine the work that we do.”

The Superintendent of Rantoul City Schools declined an interview. She says they have depended on the county clerk’s office to help with this process in years past. They plan to do things differently in the future.

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