MATTOON – Raising the equalized assessed value (EAV) can’t dig a county out of millions of dollars in debt, according to a recent argument made by the Edgar County Watchdogs on their Illinois Leaks website.
The watchdog group had reported on the Federal lawsuit between the City of Mattoon and Coles County over property assessments for the 2016 tax year. The city is currently $103 million in debt and operating with fiscal deficit of $720,000. Mattoon CUSD #2 is also in poor financial condition, recently ordered by the Illinois State Board of Education to complete a financial reduction plan for the last school year.
Currently, the county believes increasing the EAV is a way to bring in more tax revenue, but according to ECW co-founder Kirk Allen, all that does is create an added burden on taxpayers.
“Ben Franklin was asked, ‘What kind of Government did you give us?’ His response: ‘A Republic, if you can keep it,'” 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.”
Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.
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