Coles County can't fix debt by upping assessed value, group argues
Raising the equalized assessed value (EAV) can't dig a county out of millions of dollars in debt, the Edgar County Watchdogs (ECW) argued on their Illinois Leaks website recently.
The ECW reported on Mattoon's federal lawsuit against Coles County over property assessments for the 2016 tax year. The city is nearly $103 million in debt and has a spending deficit of nearly $720,000 in its annual budget, the ECW said. Mattoon School District 2 is also in poor financial straits and was ordered by the State Board of Education to complete a financial reduction plan for the last school year.
The county appears to believe that increasing the EAV is a way to bring in more money, but all it really does is put more of a burden on taxpayers, the ECW argued.
“Ben Franklin was asked; What kind of government did you give us? His response: ‘A republic, if you can keep it,’” ECW co-founder Kirk Allen wrote on the website. “If people don’t get involved and hold local government accountable to fiscal spending, you will not keep it! Many will argue we have already lost it. I tend to agree as looking at these numbers and the actions of elected and appointed public officials actions that put us in this mess, there is no crawling out of this debt no matter how much you raise the EAV and take from the people.”
Organizations in this Story
651 Jackson Ave
Charleston, IL 61920
Edgar County, IL, United States