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April 15, 2024

Atlanta Library Trustees – “Lucy, someone got some splainin to do!”

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On September 25, 2017

Logan Co. (ECWd) –

Property Tax Limitation Law (PTELL), a law adopted in Logan County in November of 1996. As described by the Illinois Department of Revenue:

“Increases in property tax extensions are limited to the lesser of 5% or the increase in the national Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the year preceding the levy year. The limitation can be increased for a taxing body with voter approval.”
  • 2011 – 3.0%
  • 2012 – 1.7%
  • 2013 – 1.5%
  • 2014 –   .8%
  • 2015 –   .7%
  • 2016 – 2.1%

So for Logan county, unless there is a referendum to raise your property tax levy, it is limited to the CPI, which is less than 5% every year listed since 2011.

Atlanta Library District President and its Director attempted to hoodwink the taxpayers by claiming there has been no increase in their levy, which we disproved in this article.  Now, with a local citizen paying attention and letting us know Logan County is a PTELL county (we should have checked), we find that had it not been for the County Clerk’s office doing their job, Atlanta Public Libray would have violated PTELL for years 2012 and 2016.

We note, the increase reflected in 2014 is based on the passage of a 2012 referendum which goes into effect for 2013 tax bills, of which such funds are dispersed in the 2014 year.

Property tax levy requested by the Library: 

  • 2011 – $71,620.00
  • 2012 – $73,365.00
  • 2013 – $75,930.00
  • 2014 – $136,400.00
  • 2015 – $143,235.00
  • 2016 – $150,400.00

So you can see, they have requested more funds every year listed, contrary to their claim they have not.

Property Tax paid to the library according to the County:

  • 2011 – $69,860.24
  • 2012 – $72,229.36
  • 2013 – $75,477.03
  • 2014 – $136,280.78
  • 2015 – $142,689.57
  • 2016 – $140,589.00* (* final 2017 disbursement pending at time of publication)

According to the PTELL worksheets from the Logan County Clerks Office, the Library district exceeded the PTELL in 2012 and 2016.  Those excessive tax fund requests were stopped by the County Clerk who has a statutory duty to cut them back, even if they request more than they are allowed.

So it appears based on their own numbers, the Atlanta Public Library has not only increased their levy every year, contrary to their claims they had not, but also requested tax funds in excess of the Property Tax Limitation Law for two of the last 5 years.

Although not uncommon for public bodies to ask for more than they are allowed, it does make you wonder why these public bodies are unable to understand the law and limitations on taxing the citizens. I assume the Legislature understood the need for good County Clerks to be the stop gap for such malfeasance.

We are still waiting on accountability to come to Atlanta in the form of criminal investigations, state investigations into grants, and resignations from those who have lied in their reporting to the state.

May we suggest to the attendees of the last Atlanta Library meeting to do one small thing. Each one please bring one new person with you to the next and let your voices be heard!

It’s well past the time for accountability.


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1 Comment
  • Informed Atlanta Taxpayer
    Posted at 19:15h, 25 September

    Yeah and they think they are going to get to keep the $8,000 in building and maintenance tax that they are currently getting even though the citizens successfully petitioned against it. The board voted to vacate the tax at the 08/24 meeting. Next they are supposed to do a resolution and file it with the county. But! Cathy thinks they are just going to roll it out of the sub line item of building and maintenance and into the general fund. They all need to resign including Cathy and Rachel. There are only two board members who seem to be innocent due to their short term on the board and I would have no problem with them staying. Lori Cotton and Jami Clark. However, if they continue to go along and follow versus be real leaders they may as well resign too!