Madison County Ends Taxpayer Support For History Museum


Over the past decade, one of the few taxpayer-funded local history museums in Illinois has raised more than $ 2 million. It ends, but not before an additional $ 300,000 in taxes is returned to the museum.

Madison County taxpayer support for the County History Museum is about to turn historic.

Over the past decade, just over $ 2 million in county funds have been spent on the 97-year-old establishment, which has collected a property tax since 1964. The county council voted on Sept. 15 to end to its association with the Edwardsville Museum. , Illinois, as of Nov. 30, but also approved a farewell gift of $ 300,000 for the museum.

The museum was the subject of a 2018 Illinois Policy Institute article, which found that of 50 county historical societies surveyed in Illinois, only five received taxes. Madison County spent the most on its museum by far.

County leaders decided that the $ 273,293 budgeted for the museum in 2018 was too high, so they cut the 2019 budget by $ 80,000.

Madison County Board Chairman Kurt Prenzler said at the time that there was a valid question as to why the museum was not fully funded by donations, as was the most of its counterpart institutions.

“I think we would like to see the historical society become more robust in its fundraising,” he said at the time. “We kind of pointed that out to them. “

The museum received a property tax of 0.002 cents per $ 100 of appraised appraisal, which brought in $ 106,871 this year. The remainder of this year’s budget of approximately $ 209,000 was subsidized by other county funds.

The county will eliminate the property tax in 2022, Prenzler said.

He also said museum leaders are looking for more independence, so the split is a victory for the county and the museum.

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