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May 16, 2022

COD- Milton Township Assessor -This is how it is supposed to work!

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On March 9, 2015

DuPage Co. (ECWd)

The recent exposure to businesses operating on campus at COD led to yet another batch of FOIA requests being sent out.  The reason behind those FOIA’s is explained in part in our last COD Tax Cheat article. (Click here for Tax Cheat Article)

One of those FOIA’s was to the Milton Township assessor Chris E. LeVan and I have to say, COD should take lessons from this assessor on many fronts!  Mr. LeVan not only responded to the FOIA request immediately, he provided information above and beyond a simple request for records.

When a public body takes the path of openness and ensures the public is informed, it establishes a trust, which at this point there is none with COD and their responses to FOIA.

So what is going on with the businesses operating on campus and not paying property tax?  The assessor’s response to our FOIA spells it out VERY WELL!

Through your investigation our office became aware of the U.S. Bank and now other businesses operating within the COD campus. For that we thank you. We will issue a Certificate of Error for the U.S. Bank for tax year 2014, sadly per the law we can only go back one year. We have been investigating the Waterleaf, along with the hotel to determine if both properties should be placed on the tax rolls. We are looking at all the other properties on the COD campus to ensure each unit is added to the tax rolls and pays their fair share of taxes”  (Click here for the full e-mail exchange with the Assessor) 

The assessor could have responded to that FOIA with a simple, “there are no records responsive to your request”.  That is a typical response out of COD even though we KNOW they have the records we are asking for.  This assessor went the extra mile and actually provided direction as to where to get the requested files, who is responsible, and explained what is being done to fix the problem, which is not an obligation under FOIA.

His actions should be an example of how things should work in our Government.   He deserves overwhelming praise for his response and COD should take notice of how easy it is to interact with the public.

A question the citizens of DuPage County should be asking there Supervisor of Assessments, how many businesses in the county are operating on leased space in a tax exempt government building?  Typically we find these things happening at airports (hanger space), government housing (barber shops and beauty salons), and courthouses & jails (ATM machines) just to name a few.

In closing, Thank You to the Milton Township Assessor for going the extra mile for the people in this community!

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7 Comments
  • Eric Pratt
    Posted at 11:45h, 09 March

    This is exactly how it is supposed to work. It’s called responsibility. Being part of an organization means a person needs to work to make that organization work. People prefer to say “that’s not my job” when in a larger sense it really is their job like in this case, to take care of someone who needed information. More than just the people of DuPage County can take a lesson here.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 12:57h, 09 March

      and noticing a problem while providing the information, and then taking steps to fix it.

  • Chris M. Gaines
    Posted at 14:52h, 09 March

    http://m.jg-tc.com/news/state-and-regional/college-officials-dining-funded-by-illinois-taxpayers/article_ddd960b2-f7ea-5280-9c07-cccf093a0b14.html?mobile_touch=true

    This recent article (link above) was published Monday( 3/9/15) in our local newspaper for the Mattoon/Charleston, Illinois (Coles County) & Surrounding Areas today on page A3 (Local & State section) called the Journal Gazette-Times Courier newspaper about the COD Board. The headline read “College officials’ dining funded by Illinois Taxpayers” (source Glen Ellyn AP). I just thought you would like to know that information if you didn’t already. Keep pushing back even HARDER now and finish it soon, please… good work John Kraft and Kirk Allen! I’m very impressed and inspired with every story you two publish here on your website called IllinoisLeaks.com Thank you both very much! Citizen journalists like yourself and others our the Minute Men (and women) of our generation in my opinion and many others, obviously. We the People RELY on people like you and them to continue to expose this type of obvious public corruption and criminal activity in public supported by easily verified evidence. Keep up the good work! Have a nice day.

  • Jason Ellis
    Posted at 22:22h, 09 March

    So why does Bruce Rauner want to get rid of all the townships?

    • Kirk Allen
      Posted at 09:47h, 10 March

      That would be a question for the Governor. I know in many parts of the state it would make total sense to either consolidate smaller townships with each other or have them absorb the small villages in their township.

  • marty
    Posted at 21:36h, 10 March

    Milton Twp. is pretty good, We live in it’s borders…

  • Dennis C. Ryan
    Posted at 13:10h, 13 March

    Will this apply to farmland owned by the Kane County Forest preserve District as “Open Space,” but leased to farmers for crop production?
    I believe Kane County townships have not received road tax funds due for this land, nor from the two gold courses, baseball stadium( ( “Cougars”) or the roller skating rink the Forest Preserve District owns.

    i have printed out the tax code that you provided, but advice how to proceed with this will be very welcome.

    The Observer

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