Illinois court: Tax exemption for aviation company invalid

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Supreme Court has invalidated a law that gave a property tax exemption to a Moline-based aviation company.

The 6-1 decision released Thursday declares the 2013 law is unconstitutional “special legislation.” It allowed Elliott Aviation to expand at the Quad City International Airport without paying property taxes.

The Moline School District filed a lawsuit to prevent the loss of $150,000 in annual tax revenue.

Justice Lloyd Karmeier wrote the court’s opinion, which included a dissent from Justice Mary Jane Theis.

Karmeier noted the state constitution prohibits laws benefiting only one person or group. Elliott was the only company to qualify for the tax break under the law.

Lawyers for Elliott did not immediately respond to a request for comment.