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03/09/88 Robert W. Raines Et Al., v. the County of Greene

March 9, 1988

ROBERT W. RAINES ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS

v.

THE COUNTY OF GREENE, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FOURTH DISTRICT

520 N.E.2d 1223, 166 Ill. App. 3d 980, 117 Ill. Dec. 872 1988.IL.332

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Greene County; the Hon. John W. Russell, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE LUND delivered the opinion of the court. GREEN, P.J., and KNECHT, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE LUND

On June 22, 1987, the circuit court of Greene County entered an order denying plaintiffs' consolidated tax objections. Plaintiffs appeal. We affirm.

The circumstances underlying this appeal commenced on September 6, 1977, when the city of Roodhouse passed its tax levy for taxes to be extended in the 1977 tax year to be paid in 1978. The clerk of Greene County failed to extend a portion of the taxes which were levied, and, as a result, the sum of $31,673, which should have been collected and paid over to Roodhouse, was not collected.

As a result, suit was filed by Roodhouse against the Greene County clerk in 1979. A judgment was entered in that case against Greene County in the amount of $31,673. This was eventually paid by the county's insurance carrier, Chubb/Pacific Indemnity Company (Chubb). At the time of the payment, Chubb and the county entered into an agreement whereby the county agreed to cooperate fully and assist Chubb in recovery of the $31,673.

On May 18, 1984, Chubb filed a complaint for mandamus against the county clerk requesting that she be ordered to extend an additional sum of $31,673 to the next tax extension made by her against real estate located within Roodhouse. On August 16, 1985, the circuit court entered an order directing the county clerk to extend the taxes previously levied by Roodhouse on September 6, 1977, in the amount of $31,673 to the next tax extension and pay this sum to Chubb. The county clerk extended these taxes on the 1985 real estate taxes, payable in 1986.

Plaintiffs filed tax objections with the payment of their 1985 real estate taxes, payable in 1986. The court conducted a hearing on June 11, 1987, and on June 22, 1987, entered an order holding against plaintiffs. The order stated that section 222 of the Revenue Act of 1939 (Act) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 120, par. 703) authorized collection of the 1977 taxes with the 1985 taxes, and that the back taxes must be calculated on the 1977 equalized assessed valuation so as to not affect any improvements made since that time.

Plaintiffs appeal asserting two grounds for reversal and suggesting a third. The first is that section 222 of the Act cannot be used by a nontaxing, non-governmental entity. Plaintiffs argue that collection of these taxes is done strictly for the benefit and at the behest of Chubb, and this is improper.

Section 222 provides:

"If the tax or assessment on property liable to taxation is prevented from being collected for any year or years, by reason of any omission, erroneous proceeding or other cause, the amount of such tax or assessment which such property should have paid may be added to the tax on such property for any subsequent year, in separate columns designating the year or years." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 120, par. 703.)

Where collection of a valid property tax assessment is not made, this section has been held to authorize addition of an amount of uncollected tax to the taxes levied by the same authority on the same property for subsequent years. (People ex rel. School Directors of District No. 73 v. Klehm (1932), 350 Ill. 419, 426, 183 N.E. 454, 457; Watson v. Village of Sibley (1939), 372 Ill. 633, 636, 25 N.E.2d 1, 2.) This section deals only with a tax which has been already levied and has not, for some reason, been collected. (People ex rel. Edgar v. National Box Co. (1910), 248 Ill. 141, 144, 93 N.E. 778, 779; Watson, 372 Ill. at 636, 25 N.E.2d at 2.) In Watson, the court held that where village taxes assessed and levied ...


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