Williamson Co. to sue Illinois for holding funds - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Williamson Co. to sue Illinois for holding funds

(Source: Giacomo Luca, KFVS) (Source: Giacomo Luca, KFVS)

The Williamson County Board and State's Attorney will sue the Illinois Department of Revenue and the comptroller’s office for funds that haven't been released since the state's budget stalemate in July.

The lawsuit is asking for the release of $139,000 for the salary reimbursements of the state’s attorney, the lead public defender and the supervisor of assessments.

A complaint and proposed order has been drafted for a lawsuit in the amount of $139,000 for the state to release funds for the three offices.

The Williamson County Board of commissioners Jim Marlo, Brent Gentry and Ron Ellis presented the lawsuit to the public with the State’s Attorney Brandon Zanotti.

The board has been following a law suit where St. Clair County sued the state for a similar reasons and won. St. Clair County has received funds for those offices from the state.

Zanotti cites the Personal Property Tax Replacement Fund that was established to reimburse counties in Illinois for the cost of certain public offices.

The state released billions of dollars for motor fuel taxes, 911 emergency and gaming taxes funds in December but did not include the PPTRF.

“This is simply it’s just a matter of fairness. It’s also a matter of law. A matter of following the law and it’s unfortunate that the department of revenue is not willing to turn these funds over to us,” Zanotti said. “I do think that this lawsuit will get their attention and I do think that we will prevail and that they will do what is right in the end.”

“It’s a sad day when the Williamson County [board] has to take legal action against the department of revenue to receive the funds that is rightfully owed to the county so that we can continue to provide the services that the residents of Williamson County deserve,” Commissioner Jim Marlo said.

The commissioners and the state’s attorney said to their knowledge, there has never been a lawsuit filed by Williamson County against the state.

Commissioner Gentry said there was a lawsuit in the works several years for similar reasons, but was never filed because the state released funding.

Zanotti said he is fine tuning the law suit and will file it by December 18 at the latest.

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