Moline Aviation Company Asks Lawmakers For Tax Exemption - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Moline Aviation Company Asks Lawmakers For Tax Exemption

Updated: Dec 18, 2012 09:01 PM CST
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A bill on Governor Quinn's desk could make a Quad City company tax exempt. Elliott Aviation in Moline requested to not pay taxes that way the company can become more competitive and possibly create jobs.

The company is a long time Moline business. It is at the Quad City Airport, near the Milan Post Office. The company is responsible for building and maintaining all the buildings, but they lease the property from the airport.

Elliott Aviation does a variety of work including repairs, modifications and overhauling business aircraft.

"We have clients that come from all over the place. A large percentage of our business is from the United States from coast to coast, border to border. We also have clients that do come to us from Canada, Mexico and South America," says Richard Baeder, Vice President and General Manager of Elliott Aviation.

The company also has businesses in other parts of country, including Iowa, where they are tax exempt. Elliott Aviation would also like to be tax free in Illinois.

"The more competitive we are, the more business we can bring here," adds Baeder, "The more business we bring in, the more people we need and the more jobs we can create."

Local lawmakers approved the bill. They say it all boils down to creating jobs.

"It's kind of you're darned if you do and you're darned if you don't kind of type of situation," says State Rep. Pat Verschoore, "We lost jobs during the recession and we need to gain jobs back ."

The bill state lawmakers passed, only applies to Elliott Aviation. No other company would benefit from the bill. Lawmakers say they crafted the legislation that way, so only the Moline Company would receive the tax exemption.

"If we didn't do something they were going to go to either Des Moines or Minneapolis or Omaha," adds St. Rep. Verschoore, "What do we gain then?"

Officials at Elliott Aviation are waiting to see if Governor Quinn signs the bill. They say they have a good case, because so much of the money made at the Moline business stays in the Quad Cities.

"It's all brand new cash into the community and it's all cash infusion from all kinds of different places," says Baeder.

The Moline School District opposes making Elliott Aviation tax exempt. Superintendent Dave Moyer says the district will loose $150,000 for the first year and possibly more every year after that if the Governor signs the bill.

"For us it's roughly the equivalent of 2 and a half teachers. It's certainly not good news from a school district perspective," says Dr. Dave Moyer.

Governor Quinn is working with Elliott Aviation and the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce. Quinn would like more information before deciding whether or not to approve the bill.

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