BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO) — The idling of Belvidere’s Stellantis plant has raised a lot of questions for workers, suppliers and Boone County residents.
Higher taxes are a possibility, but not just yet. It depends on what local officials decide to do when the factory’s assessment is done, which could be well into the future.
“The plant has obviously been a major part of our local economy for right around 60 years,” said Boone County Treasurer Curt Newport.
The idling of the Belvidere Stellantis plant brings a big hit to the local economy, as Newport said that the factory had a tax bill of over $1.9 million.
“That represents about 1.6% of the property taxes for county government, about 2% for school District 100 and about 5% for the City of Belvidere,” Newport said. “So, that’s the amount of money that we’re going to have to make up one way or another.”
That tax burden will get shifted to taxpayers in the district, but not until the assessment of the factory comes down. Local officials will then have the responsibility of determining how this impacts the county.
“If the assessed value of that plant does come down dramatically, it’d be up to each taxing district how they want to deal with it,” Newport said. “You know, they can lower their levies, so that it doesn’t cause a tax increase on everyone else, or they can keep their levies the way they are and cause that burden to be shifted amongst the rest of the taxpayers.”
It is not only a loss at the local level, but also for the state as a whole. Stellantis announced a $155 million investment into three electric vehicle plants in Indiana on Tuesday.
“When they’re talking about a state-wide, ‘we’re leaving Illinois and we’re going to Indiana,’ then it’s more than a Belvidere issue, and our state legislature has to understand what’s going on there,” Newport said.
There are a lot of unknowns that lie ahead, but Newport is optimistic that business in Belvidere will continue to grow.
“We’ve got a big truck stop coming in. We’ve got a big warehouse going in. You know, jobwise, they’re not going to replace Stellantis, but, you know, every little bit helps,” Newport said. “We’re just going to have to figure out how to perservere without them. Other communities have faced similar losses and it’s never fun, but, you know, they get through it, so we will too.”
Newport stressed that local government will have the most impact on decisions moving forward.