What's news in Pekin is routine in Eureka

DeWayne Bartels
The Tazewell County Treasurer's office is making news out of dispersing more money to taxing bodies than is its norm. But, what is news in Pekin is routine in Eureka.

There are bigger than normal bucks flowing out of the Tazewell County Treasurer’s office.

The Tazewell County Treasurer’s office has disbursed 50 percent of the money the county’s 182 taxing bodies sought in their tax levies.

That amounts to just over 95 percent of what the office has collected in property taxes.

Tazewell County Deputy Treasurer Mary Burress sent out a press release about the news. It was big news in the opinion of Burress and Tazewell County Treasurer Duane Gray.

Burress said the office has been monitoring the state funding shortfalls plaguing Tazewell County taxing bodies.

She and Gray decided that instead of holding back funds to invest for the taxing bodies they would disperse more of the money and let the taxing bodies have it now.

“The money was coming in nicely. We were getting calls from taxing bodies, especially school districts, saying they needed as much as they could get,” Gray said.  

The 5 percent increase in the Tazewell County disbursement rate for this period will have the following positive financial

affects on the following sampling of schools within Tazewell County.

Washington Grade School District 52 will receive an additional $100,900.

East Peoria Grade School District 86 will receive an additional $238,687.

Morton Unit District 709 will receive an additional $796,607.

Illinois Central College will receive an additional $956,797.

“The Tazewell County Treasurers’ Office recognizes the increase may lead to saving a job, program, provide for financial support to ready schools for their new enrollment year, or pay outstanding expenses dependent on state funding,” Burress said in a press release.

“The Tazewell County Treasurers’ Office under the direction of deputy treasurer Mary Burress will continue to monitor the financial issues facing taxing bodies and will review future disbursement rates as needed.”

Across the river and up the highway from Pekin in Eureka there was a different story. In fact, there was no story.

In Eureka, there was no press release about the fact that the Woodford County Treasurer’s Office has already dispersed $16,615,477, or more than 97 percent of the money it has already collected.

Another $12,280,166.79 will go out July 1 to 10 taxing bodies who did not want their money until July 1.

The reason there was no fuss in Eureka is that dispersing as much as possible is the normal course of business.

Woodford County Treasurer Melissa Andrews said she was surprised that Tazewell County is just now getting around to dispersing most of the funds it collects.

“We’ve done it this way as far back as I can remember,” she said. “I’ve been here 20 years.”