SPRINGFIELD – During fiscal 2014, former Governor Quinn’s administration overpaid by $168 million to local governments and schools in Personal Property Replacement Tax fund (PPRT) disbursements, according to data recently turned up by the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR). State Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) is questioning whether the overpayments were an accident. The overpayments included more than $23 million to Chicago schools and almost $20 million to the City of Chicago.
“I think it’s a very reasonable question to ask whether it was truly a mistake, because this ‘mistake’ sent millions of dollars to Chicago and many other Democrat-leaning districts during an election year,” Sen. Syverson said. “But whether it was done on purpose or not, communities across the state are now going to be asked to pay back money that they were overpaid and don’t have.”
The overpayments appear to have been caused following a switch to new reporting forms. According to IDOR, the issue was discovered during the agency’s implementation of a new general ledger system. Ten taxing districts received overpayments of more than $1 million. Most were much smaller, including 5,291 taxing districts, which received less than $10,000 in overpayments.
According to Connie Beard, IDOR Director, “We will be working with the impacted taxing districts to establish a plan to recapture the funds over an extended period of time.”
“I applaud the Rauner administration for their willingness to work with local governments and schools by allowing for an extended payment schedule, but this still hits our local governments and schools at a particularly bad time,” Sen. Syverson said.
Repayment could be particularly hard on many cities and school districts. The Rockford School District was overpaid by more than $2.7 million, the City of Rockford over $915,000, and Winnebago County more than $626,000.