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PAXTON — After a longer-than-usual wait, Ford County’s taxing bodies finally have received their first checks from the treasurer’s office for property taxes collected for 2018.

Treasurer Krisha Shoemaker said $17.2 million in property tax revenue was recently distributed to taxing bodies, reflecting the amount collected by Shoemaker’s office following the Aug. 16 deadline for taxpayers to pay the first of their two installments.

The county’s three school districts received the largest of the 218 checks mailed out on Aug. 27, with Paxton-Buckley-Loda and Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley each getting $3.8 million and Tri-Point getting $2 million, Shoemaker said.

Once the Oct. 28 deadline passes for payment of the second installment of property taxes, there will be about $12 million more dispersed to the county’s taxing bodies, Shoemaker said.

Some taxing bodies were put in a financial pinch this summer after the county’s 10,400 tax bills were mailed late. County Clerk & Recorder Amy Frederick blamed the delay on the Illinois Department of Revenue, which did not send a final multiplier to her office until June 3, she said.

Due to the delay in receiving tax revenue, the Paxton Park District was forced to obtain a $30,000 tax anticipation warrant from a local bank to help relieve a deficit in its unrestricted fund account. There were more than $10,000 in bills from July and more than $6,000 from August that could not be paid due to the delay in receiving tax money.

The park district recently received a $51,000 check from the treasurer’s office as its first disbursement. With the money finally in hand, the park district’s board of commissioners was expected to approve paying back the tax anticipation warrant during its Sept. 10 meeting.

Taxpayers are reminded that payment of the second installment of real estate taxes is Oct. 28. Payments can be made at the treasurer’s office at the courthouse in Paxton or at any Ford County bank. Payments can also be left in the drop box in front of the courthouse during non-office hours or instead mailed to P.O. Box 92, Paxton, IL 60957.