The property value of the ConocoPhillips Refinery in Roxana won't be lowered by state agencies any time soon after a judge in Sangamon County issued a stay in the tax-break case involving the refinery last Friday. Circuit Judge John Schmidt granted a preliminary injunction from the consortium of tax districts after determining that more questions need to be answered about the process before the case moves forward.
The plaintiffs allege the Illinois Pollution Control Board and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency violated the Freedom of Information Act and the Illinois Open Meetings Act in order to allow the company to be approved for a lower property value. The Roxana School District is joined in the suit by the Village of Roxana, Roxana Park District, Wood River Township Hospital, South Roxana Fire Protection District, Wood River Hartford Elementary District, and East Alton Wood River High School, they say that the refinery is trying to keep them from getting the tax money they are entitled to.
Judge Schmidt has set a hearing for April 25 during which lawyers will argue that the tax consortium violated open meeting laws during the process. Arguments will also be heard concering the refinery's motion to dismiss the lawsuit.