WOODRIVER, IL – State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) and Daniel Beiser (D-Alton) support a plan to return to taxpayers the roughly $4.9 million pension fund surplus from the closed Woodriver Township Hospital. Beiser and Haine will sponsor legislation during the fall veto session to refund taxpayers the leftover funds from the defunct pension fund.
“We want to put this money back in taxpayers’ wallets,” Haine said. “We have listened to all the involved parties, weighed the practical possibilities and decided that refunding this money is the fairest, most equitable option.”
“This is commonsense legislation that will ensure that Wood River Township taxpayers are directly refunded money from the hospital district,” Beiser said.
Refunds to township residents would be based on the amount individuals paid in property tax while the hospital tax was in place.
Woodriver Township Hospital closed in 2000 and after a 10 year period of paying out pension benefits the fund still had nearly $5 million dollars leftover. The General Assembly would have to pass a law in order for the hospital’s board to issue refunds to taxpayers.
The method of disbursing funds is currently being reviewed. Beiser and Haine hope to introduce a bill in October.
Past members of the hospital board; Ken Miller, the retired chairman of the board; Louis Kosiba of the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund; Beiser; and Haine—as states attorney—worked together to discover these funds and work to return them to the public.
“An overwhelming majority of people support this refund and I have always tried to represent the interest and will of the people,” Haine said.