Champaign Township official lauds Shelby Township for rebating property taxes
Taxpayers will benefit from the more than $700,000 in property tax rebate checks recently mailed to Shelby Township parcel owners in response to legislation passed in 2017, Andrew J. Quarnstrom, Champaign Township supervisor, said during a recent interview.
"No doubt tax payers will benefit from this legislation," Quarnstrom told the Chambana Sun. "I think governing bodies can benefit from the additional oversight ensuring that they are using taxpayer money responsibly."
Champaign needs to take a closer look as well, he said.
"I can’t speak for Shelby Township or Illinois," he said. "I can speak for the city of Champaign Township in that we continue to adjust our spending and programming for those in need based on our revenue. We follow general accounting practices and ensure we have about six months in reserve. We also have kept our same tax rate since I took office in 2013. In that time frame we have increased our services, assistance programs and benefits for our clients."
Quarnstrom, a captain in the Champaign Fire Department, was elected township supervisor in 2013.
Shelby Township mailed out property tax rebate checks shortly before 2018 came to a close and after the Illinois General Assembly unanimously passed House Bill 1896. The bill, sponsored in the House by State Rep. Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) and the Senate by State Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) and approved by Gov. Bruce Rauner in September 2017, caps accumulated funds in Shelby Township.
"I think HB 1896 is a responsible piece of legislation that ensures governing bodies use taxpayer money wisely," Quarnstrom said. "Regarding the Shelby Township rebates, I think it was the responsible thing to do on the township’s part."
The Edgar County Watchdog group estimated the amount the township was required to return to an estimated 2,800 property owners as almost $736,000, with the average check $262.66 per property parcel.
The bill's sponsors were re-elected in November to new terms in the state General Assembly to continue serving in the 102nd and 51st districts, respectively.
The 102nd District includes all or parts of Deer Park, Forest Lake and Green Oaks. The 51st District encompasses Champaign, De Witt, Douglas, Edgar, Macon, McLean, Moultrie, Piatt, Shelby and Vermilion.