Whitt Law LLC has a long history of working with school districts, municipalities, counties, community colleges and other units of local government in matters pertaining to the assessment and taxation of high-value properties, including nuclear power stations, natural gas and coal-fired electric generating stations, wind turbines, landfills, ethanol plants and petroleum refineries. When a public body is facing a taxpayer’s assessment challenge or seeking a fair and equitable assessment of an undervalued property, Whitt Law has the skill and knowledge necessary to aggressively represent your interests.
Our goal is to achieve a long-term solution for our clients that will result in financial stability and equitable taxation now and in the future. We are trusted advisors, in constant pursuit of the best resolution for our clients. In the courtroom we are tough litigators with a proven record of success. We regularly litigate before the:
- Local Boards of Review
- Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board
- Illinois Department of Revenue
- Illinois Circuit, Appellate and Supreme Courts
We regularly provide advice, counsel and litigation services to school districts and local governments near:
- Exelon’s nuclear generating stations in Will, Grundy, LaSalle, Ogle and Rock Island Counties, IL
- ExxonMobil’s refinery in Will County, IL
- Marathon Petroleum’s refinery in Crawford County, IL
- PDV’s refinery in Will County, IL
- WRB’s refinery in Madison County, IL
We are regularly called upon to advocate our clients’ property tax interests, as well as those of the Illinois Statewide School Management Alliance, in support of, or opposed to, legislation pending before the Illinois General Assembly.
Stuart Whitt is also a leader in FAIRCOM (Fair Assessment Information Resource Committee), which is a trust of local governments dedicated to the maintenance of fair and equitable assessments and taxation of electric generating stations and other special purpose properties throughout Illinois. When the Illinois General Assembly enacted the deregulation of the electric utility industry in 1997, Whitt Law helped FAIRCOM secure the passage of Public Act 90-562 which assured a solid financial environment for local taxing bodies.
The Whitt team is a persistent, experienced partner in defending the interests of public schools and other taxing bodies facing tax assessment disputes. If assessment litigation will help protect or achieve a fair tax assessment for your school district or other taxing body, contact Whitt Law LLC today.
MARATHON PETROLEUM’S CRAWFORD COUNTY REFINERY
In 2009, the attorneys at Whitt Law successfully negotiated a six-year agreement with Marathon Petroleum Company for the assessment and taxation of its Crawford County refinery from 2008 through 2013. Whitt Law represented eight local taxing bodies, including the school district, in the matter. Historically, the assessed value of the refinery had been declining. However, in 2008, Whitt Law filed an assessment complaint on behalf of its clients with the board of review, resulting in a dramatically increased assessment for 2007. As the 2008 tax year approached, Whitt Law negotiated the long term agreement, which provided for a level assessment and more than doubled the refinery’s property taxes over a six-year term. The agreement also provided for the dismissal of tax rate litigation filed by the refinery, resulting in another $7.6 million benefit to the local school district.
BRAIDWOOD NUCLEAR POWER STATION IN TAX-CAPPED WILL COUNTY
In 2008, Whitt Law was successful in negotiating a five-year settlement agreement with Exelon regarding the assessment and taxation of its Braidwood Nuclear Power Station. The agreement provided for an increased assessment of $370 million in tax year 2007, climbing each year thereafter to $450 million in 2011. The agreement also allocated “new property” for purposes of the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL). Braidwood Station was required to pay over $95 million in property taxes during the five-year period, as well as $7.5 million in additional payments directly to the taxing bodies. Also, during the term of the agreement, Exelon’s ability to file tax rate objections against the levies of the taxing bodies was significantly restricted.
DRESDEN NUCLEAR POWER STATION IN GRUNDY COUNTY
In 2007, Whitt Law was successful in negotiating a five-year settlement agreement with Exelon regarding the assessment and taxation of its Dresden Nuclear Power Station. The agreement provided for an increased assessment of $475 million in tax year 2007, climbing each year thereafter to $495 million in 2011. The agreement required Dresden Station to pay $105 million in property taxes and significantly curbed Exelon’s ability to file tax rate objection cases during the five-year period. The agreement was negotiated afterWhitt Law prevailed at the board of review, where Dresden Station’s assessment was increased from $107 million in 2005 to more than $500 million in 2006. The agreement significantly raised revenues for local taxing bodies and dramatically reduced property taxes for the rest of the community.
BYRON NUCLEAR POWER STATION IN OGLE COUNTY
In 2008, Whitt Law was successful in negotiating a four-year settlement agreement with Exelon regarding the assessment and taxation of its Byron Nuclear Power Station. The agreement provided for an assessment of $450 million in tax year 2008, climbing each year thereafter to $480 million in 2011. The agreement required Byron Station to pay over $118 million in property taxes during the five-year period, as well as $4.6 million of payments in addition to taxes directly to the taxing bodies. Exelon’s ability to file tax rate objections against the levies of the taxing bodies was significantly restricted during the term of the agreement. The settlement was achieved after two days of mediation before a circuit court judge where litigation over the taxation of Byron Station had been pending for over a year.