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Moline School District to Fight Tax Break for Elliott Aviation

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The Moline School District is joining the fight to reverse Rock Island County's decision to not tax Elliott Aviation.

After an hour-long closed session during Moline's Board of Education meeting on Monday, March 11th, 2013, school board members made the announcement that the school district is "seeking injunctive relief against all legally responsible parties from listing the property leased by Elliott Aviation or any fixed base operator located on the Metropolitan Airport Authority of Rock Island County as exempt from real property taxation in Rock Island County, Illinois."

"It's exempting a single private person," Superintendent Dr. David Moyer told WQAD on Monday night. "It’s targeting a single private person and exempting them, which is not within the framework of the constitution."

Dr. Moyer says the decision means the school district will lose approximately $150,000 a year.

"It's a very extended period of time, in other words, a lot of graduating classes before there’s any chance that we’ll see any benefit at all from any of the TIF property."

As News 8's Chris Minor reported last week, two Moline attorneys are threatening to sue over the law and the school district agrees they cannot let this slide. Dr. Moyer says allowing the tax exemption could be detrimental to the future of the school district.

"It's unconstitutional," he told WQAD following Monday night's announcement. "It sets bad precedent and it's bad for the students in Moline. The Board of Education has taken a stand that they believe is appropriate considering all of those factors and other long term implications for the future financial health of the district."

Dr. Moyer says he is not sure how long the litigation process will last, but he says any funds that are spent on attorney fees will not be coming from the education fund.