Madison County Treasurer Kurt Prenzler announced that he is releasing $10.6million to three taxing districts in Roxana that had their property tax money tied up in a lawsuit with the WRB Refinery (Phillips 66) in Wood River, IL. The Phillips 66 refinery filed a tax objection lawsuit after a number of years of unnecessarily high taxation from the Roxana school district, among others. The Phillips 66 refinery had its property taxes increased by the school district from $11million a year to over $21million, and an attempt was to raise it to over $30million following an expansion at the refinery, The settlement is through 2018 and fixes the Phillip 66 refineries property tax for those years and requires a change in Illinois law to implement the settlement. It should be said that the Phillip 66 refinery could have excessed its rights to demand the $10.6million be returned, but chose to work with the taxing districts for a mutually beneficial agreement. In the end the school district ultimately made an error in judgement in trying to kill the “golden goose” at Phillip 66. The legal fees paid by the school district were substantial and if Phillip 66 exercised its right of a tax refund of $10.6million, the school district may very well have faced a very dire financial situation, The morale to the story here is to work with local taxpayers.
Wood River, Illinois