Galatia School District feeling burden of largest employer filing for bankruptcy

GALATIA, Ill. (KFVS) -A Heartland school district is facing the challenge of property tax dollars.

What’s now known as Illinois Land Resources, formerly called the Galatia Mine closed and that impact can be felt by the Galatia schools.

According to the Illinois State Geological Survey, this mine stopped producing coal back in 2017.

And according to Galatia’s school superintendent, the county’s not receiving any property taxes from this land either and that’s hurting his kids.

“It’s left us for those two years in the hole 1.25 and some change, 1.25 million and some change,” said Superintendent Shain Crank.

Crank says the loss of property taxes from the old mine is hurting his school district. And he doesn’t see that situation getting any better.

“I don’t have any industry that’s going to back up that tax dollar. We’re probably just going to start losing those tax dollars year after year after year,” said Crank.

We tried to track down the company responsible for paying the property taxes out here and it’s pretty confusing. The listed owner is the American Coal Company.

American’s parent company went through bankruptcy and a name change. A spokesman for what’s now known as American Consolidated Natural Resources tells us American remains tied to the bankruptcy and the old Galatia mine remains in American’s name.

Meantime, Crank tells me his elementary school needs major upgrades, including a classroom that floods whenever it rains.

“If we continue to lose tax dollars, if we continue to spend out of reserves, we’re going to have to look at making cuts at some point,” said Crank.

And Crank hopes some funding comes back down from the state level.

“The only way we’ll have is through some collection at the state level. We don’t have anything to fall back on. We can only tax our folks so much and be solvent for them and us,” said Crank.

Back in February, Crank said they presented a case back in February to the Illinois House Appropriations Committee, about a major budget deficit for this school year.

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