Leftover taxpayer money to be repaid to some Metro-East residents


by Chris Stanford / News 4


Posted on November 13, 2013 at 6:59 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 14 at 7:13 AM

(KMOV) --In a rare move, leftover taxpayer money is getting ready to be doled out to thousands of Wood River property owners.

The money was collected and invested for the Wood River Township Hospital, which shut down in 1998.  For the $8.4 million stored for the hospital to be released to the public, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn had to sign a bill into law, Wednesday.

On average, property owners will get a check of about $400 to $450, according to one estimate.

“It’ll be a nice little bonus,” said Doug DePew who is on Social Security and owns a home on S. 9th Street.

Though DePew doesn’t feel the deal is far for everyone in Wood River.  That’s because long-time homeowners who’ve been paying the hospital property and sales tax for decades will be getting the same as someone who just moved to town and hasn’t paid a dime for the hospital. 

The Wood River Mayor said hospital taxes date back more than 60 years. 

The Madison County Clerk is in charge of distributing the checks, but there’s some work to do before the cash is disbursed. 

Since the final check that goes to property owners will be calculated based on the assessed value of a property in 2005, properties to-date may be divided up, combined, exempt or deleted.  The Clerk said those values still have to be figured.  There are about 270 unique parcels said Clerk Debbie Ming Mendoza.

The Hospital Board has 180 days to give the $8.4 million to the county treasurer.  After that happens, she said it’ll take her office about a month to distribute the money.

“We want to get it done and expedite it and expedite it as quickly as possible, once I get the word from the board,” said Ming Mendoza.

For property owners to have the check by Christmas would be optimistic, said Ming Mendoza.