Tax amnesty benefits DeKalb

By Laura Grandt

DeKalb and other local governments recently received additional funds from the state.

The state of Illinois collected $532 million from a tax amnesty program from Oct. 1 to Nov. 17, said Mike Klemens of the Illinois Department of Revenue. Of the $532 million, $80 million has been earmarked for local governments spanning the state.

DeKalb County received $35,636 that will go into the general fund to be used for general operations, Deputy County Administrator Gary Hanson said.

The city of DeKalb received $9,819 and the money will be used in much the same way, said Doug Haywood, accounting services manager for the city of DeKalb.

Hanson said the county board can designate the money for special uses if they choose, but he thinks the money will remain in the fund.

Local governments across the state received the money in addition to the personal property replacement tax payments. Payments are made eight times a year. The two most recent payments, in December and January, contained the additional funds from the amnesty program, Klemens said.

The tax amnesty program allowed individuals and corporations to pay back taxes or taxes owed from audits from June 1, 1982, to July 1, 2002, without penalties or interest, Klemens said. The state initiated the program to try to close the budget gap, he said.

The state expected between $130 million and $230 million, Klemens said.

The state government did much better than it thought it would with the amnesty program, Klemens said, and so the local government also did much better.

Disbursement of the $80 million between local governments was determined on the basis of personal property taxes collected in 1977, Klemens said.

Both Hanson and Haywood said the money was unexpected, only finding out recently that the money was coming.

“It’s always welcome to get money,” Hanson said. “We have a $50 million budget, so it won’t change anything significantly, but certainly, every little bit helps.”