Shelby Co. (ECWd) –
For years we have encouraged civil servants to enforce the rule of law. So what does the average person do when the actions of their officials lead to violations of the law and costs to taxpayers across the country?
Shelby County attorney Nichole Kronke sought a legal opinion from the Illinois State Attorney’s Office (ILSAAP) regarding the Shelby County farmland lease. That action resulted in us receiving evidence that resulted in violations of the law, lies, and an appraisal that fails to include the most essential element required when a county leases farmland.
Kroncke has a written one Opinion Letters to the district executive who has a certain language that she should have noticed. Instead of first determining the legality of what had happened, it blindly took a position that lags far behind any legal authority.
“The Illinois Appeals Attorney’s Office” Contracts with the law firm Giffin Winning Cohen & Bodewes, PC. Since Shelby County has contracts with the Appeals Attorney, The firm’s services are available to the Shelby County State Attorney’s Office. The law firm specializes in local and municipal law as well as civil procedural law. The company has provided Shelby County with a written statement that no costs, on tax liability. “
Does ILSAAP have the authority to contract with a private law firm to provide legal advice to a county state attorney?
725 ILCS 210 / 4.07 – sec. 4.07. The Office may accept and spend funds, gifts, grants and services from any source, public or private; Enter into or enter into contracts with any educational institution or any Illinois county, state or federal agency.
Sec. 7.06. (a) The Director may appoint or hire such investigators on a part-time basis to provide criminal investigative and tax appeals services to the county recruitment consultants and prosecutors. Investigators can be authorized by the board to carry projectors or bombs with tear gas cannons, pistols, revolvers, stun guns, tasers or other firearms.
We do not find any legislative authority for ILSAAP to contract with a private law firm outside of criminal proceedings and tax complaint cases. The legality of the lease and the property tax liability do not fall under any of the criteria listed. To date, ILSAAP has refused to respond to our inquiries about their actions.
That is even more important very contract Has a contract with the Kroncke law firm, on which she relied for her legal opinion, which was violated due to Kroncke’s request for a legal opinion.
- That the CONTRACTOR provides legal services for the AGENCY limited to process and vocation of cases of objections to the rate and assessment of Illinois real estate taxes, including administrative hearings before the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board (PTAB), administrative review of PTAB decisions in the district courts, original tax appeals in the Illinois district courts, and all appeals to the Illinois Supreme and Appeals Courts against these cases and related actions.
“Illinois Appeals Attorney’s Office Contracts Law Firm Giffin Winning Cohen & Bodewes, PC because Shelby County Contracts with the Appeal Attorney’s Office, The firm’s services are available to the Shelby County State Attorney’s Office.
This company’s contract with ILSAAP does not contain any provision to provide services to County Shelby as claimed by Kroncke. In fact, the contract expressly limits their services as set out in paragraph 1 of the contract published above. Kroncke’s actions have now led us to yet another government agency that is breaking the laws to which it is bound, and doing so at the back of taxpayers across the country.
Kroncke also said:
“The company has provided Shelby County with a written statement that no costs, on tax liability. “
It turns out that the claim is completely wrong. In fact, it costs every taxpayer in the state. The opinion that the law firm created in violation of its contract with ILSAAP by working outside of its narrow powers cost taxpayers $ 3,587.50. Invoice 1, Invoice 2, Invoice 3
The supposedly “free” $ 3,587.50 opinion has made many interesting attempts to justify a farm lease but failed to consider two important factors.
“Here it can be argued that the county’s nearly $ 40,000 annual revenue from the Shelby County Farm is for a public use as the land generates income on land that the county would otherwise spend resources on maintaining. This argument could be supported if the amount of bar rent the county receives (which averages about $ 166.36 per acre) can be shown to be consistent with prevailing market prices.
Yes it can be argued, but it fails when you look at the annotated language of the Illinois Constitution, which was completely absent from that opinion, and considering that farmers believed they got up to $ 300 each Acre commanded falls the second prong of the attempted justification apartment.
As found on Page 127 of the official state document on the question of the use of public funds, assets and loans, it is not just about consideration for the district, as the law firm and Kronke would like to lead you to believe:
“Several of the attorney general’s statements related to the leasing of district property to other individuals or organizations. These several attorney general statements related to the leasing of district property to other individuals or organizations. These opinions indicate that Such leases do not only have to be appropriate for the district (unless the district is legally authorized to make a donation to the tenant), but the use by the tenant must benefit the general publicto make room for other government units or for legislators, for example. “
As the big top in Shelby County continues to grow, we now see board member Gary Patterson asking taxpayers to pay property tax on the farm property that was leased to a private farmer. While there are numerous problems with the county making such a payment, we remain amazed why they would ignore a particular statement by the prosecutor about such a tax liability.
“In all other districts, if the taxpayer of a taxable leasehold is in arrears with the payment of the property tax, There is no mechanism to collect the arrears. “
If there is no mechanism to collect the late amount, why on earth is Patterson willing to get the county to pay those taxes and put the county at risk of being taxed without legal action against the beneficiaries stands?
We are pleased that Kroncke is trying to obtain a legal opinion, but we hope that in the future she will ensure that taxpayers do not pay for an opinion from a law firm that operates outside of their contractual powers and that an opinion on all parameters of the Legality and not just those who appear to support a particular position. Also, she should confirm the cost before claiming it’s free.
It appears that the county has no interest in having the Treasury Department determine who is required to pay property tax. While we agree that there was no language in the farm lease about who pays, we understand that there was no such language in the farm lease in Dundee Township, which was a similar case to that made by the Attorney General in their letter to Shelby without comment County was cited. What did you say In summary, “the tenant was responsible for paying taxes on the contracted property “. This judgment was upheld by the appeals court. (See page 12)
Is it possible that they will avoid going to the Treasury Department over a decision on this matter because it may result in the farmer having to pay what he should have been paying all along? Given the large number of dollars $ 26,926.00In terms of federal subsidies he received for over 30 years of bids-free county property management between 2011 and 2020, the least he could do was raise the tax and pay the taxes owed to Shelby County’s taxpayers .