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Saratoga joins other taxing bodies in settlement approval

MORRIS – Saratoga School District voted last week to approve a settlement with Equistar Chemicals, now known as LyondellBasell, which results in Saratoga receiving a payout of about $11,000.

With the LyondellBasell settlement, more than a dozen taxing bodies will receive property tax payments for the tax years 2003 through 2012.

The company will make a one-time payment of about $3.5 million, with Minooka school districts 111 and 201 receiving about $2.6 million between them.

The Saratoga School Board approved the settlement during its board meeting last week.

“I’m sure it is a huge relief for the Minooka school districts. They were impacted greatly.  I think it is very good that an agreement was reached, but it doesn’t have a significant impact on Saratoga School,” Superintendent Kathy Perry said.

The lawsuit began in 2003 when Equistar Chemicals disputed Grundy County’s property value assessment of its plant located on Tabler Road.

While in the midst of that dispute with the county, LyondellBasell declared bankruptcy in 2009.

A court ruled the company would not have to pay property taxes while it was in bankruptcy court, so local taxing bodies did not receive tax revenues from the plant for two years.

The court ruled it did have to pay taxes for the other years.

The current settlement agreement resolves the property tax disputes, missed property tax payments and sets the plant’s EAV moving forward.

This amount also takes into account other factors, including the fact that the company paid extra in taxes in 2003 and 2004, when the plant property was assessed at too high of a value.

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