Madison County treasurer to expedite payments to help local schools

With an override of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1 having gained passage in the Illinois Senate but still awaiting approval in the House, Madison County Treasurer Chris Slusser on Monday announced that his office will be expediting property tax distributions in September to help some local school districts at least temporarily avoid a funding crisis. Slusser said that his office will now make two distributions next month, the first on Sept. 12 and the second on Sept. 26.

The September property tax distribution was originally scheduled for Sept. 20. However, during a recent meeting with Bethalto School District Superintendent Jill Griffin and Business Manager Barrett Diest, Slusser was informed that the district was in jeopardy of not making payroll in September due to the state funding crisis.

With the new school funding bill held up in the legislature, the schools have not received their General State Aid payments in August. Bethalto was supposed to receive an aid payment of $407,430.91 on Aug. 10 and then a second payment on Aug. 20. Those payments are not expected to be made until the school funding bill is passed. Even then, it’s not been made clear as to when the payments will be caught up.

“The legislature can’t seem to get its act together, and unfortunately, we can’t control what they’re planning to do or when they’re planning to do it. In the meantime, schools are held hostage and some are in jeopardy of closing their doors,” said Slusser. “What we can control is when we distribute our local tax dollars that we’ve collected, so this was an easy decision for me. “

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