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Tax settlement with Aux Sable is finally near

Value of natural gas extraction facility in dispute since 2003

Published: Friday, Nov. 16, 2012 9:00 a.m. CDT

MINOOKA — The Minooka Community High School Board Tuesday night gave its approval to a tax agreement with Aux Sable Liquid Products.

Not all details of the agreement are being released at this time because other taxing bodies have to approve the agreement as well, MCHS Superintendent Jim Colyott said.

Ten different taxing bodies receive property tax revenue from Aux Sable Liquid Products. Besides Minooka High, they include Minooka Elementary School District 201, Joliet Junior College, Three Rivers Library District, village of Channahon, Channahon Police Department, Grundy County, Minooka Fire Protection District, Aux Sable Township and Aux Sable Highway Department.

Aux Sable Liquid Products has appealed the assessed valuation of its’ natural gas extraction facility, located in Grundy County, for multiple years dating back to the EAV set for 2003.

Representatives of the affected taxing bodies have met multiple times with Aux Sable Liquid Products CEO Bill McAdam. By coming to an agreement with the company, Minooka High is securing the future tax income of the district, Colyott said.

The highlights of the agreement include a 10-year agreement on the company’s base EAV, a four-year abatement program with no depreciation of property, and a flat EAV of $80 million moving forward that does not include any new improvements, according to Colyott.

More details will be provided once all taxing bodies have had an opportunity to view and vote on the agreement with their boards.

“We are extremely excited about the stability this deal offers to the company and taxing bodies,” Colyott said.

In another property tax related matter, the high school board Tuesday also approved the district’s tax levy for 2012 at $22.5 million. The district’s levy has dropped four times in as many years, said Colyott. The levy was $31.1 million in 2009; $29.5 million in 2010; and $28.1 million in 2011.

Colyott blamed the significant drop of the current levy, for taxes payable in the summer of 2013, on the dropping EAV in the district.

The board has attempted to maintain a tax rate of $2.34, a promise it made to taxpayers in 2006, when it proposed the referendum to build the south campus. Last year, Even though the district received about $1 million less in revenue, the rate went from $2.30 to $2.36.

While the dollar amount of the levy has been approved, the official tax rate won’t be computed until the EAV is set, Colyott said.

“We are confident it will be under the $2.34,” he said.

The high school district relies on local taxes for 86 percent of its revenue.

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