Report: Quincy spent thousands of tax dollars at conference - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Report: Quincy spent thousands of tax dollars at conference

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

Mayor Kyle Moore says an article from the Illinois News Network is misleading readers.

The report stated that through Freedom of Information Act requests, it was determined Quincy spent $17,823.76 at the Illinois Municipal League's annual conference. INN stated that out of two dozen municipalities that they reviewed, Quincy spent the most.

According to the report, Mayor Kyle Moore, along with 12 city staff members, elected officials and alderman, attended the three-day conference. It stated more than $11,000 of the total was for lodging at the Hilton Chicago, where the conference was held.

The report stated Quincy sent more people than any other municipality. It stated the conference costs $310 for registration for each attendee, bringing the total payout to IML to $4,680.

“This is exactly, exactly why people are so upset,” Adam Andrzejewski, chief executive officer at Openthebooks.com, told INN. “What’s the public purpose to send 13 officials basically to a big party at a fancy hotel to drink and eat on the taxpayer dime? It’s taxpayer abuse, plain and simple.”

Mayor Moore thinks the number of people there was necessary because the conference help leaders continue to get better and learn about new laws that are passed. He also said while INN only checked into about two dozen municipalities, others had up to 30 members at the conference. 

"Every time city council person goes they feel more engaged in our city, they feel like they're a part of something bigger and they have a better understanding of what municipalities across the State of Illinois are dealing with," Moore said.

Mayor Moore says city council approves these expenses and he wouldn't have done anything differently. In fact, he says he wishes more aldermen could go so they can learn about new laws first hand.

He also said the report tries to link the expenses to the proposed tax levy increase, which he calls separate matters. Quincy council members discussed a potential 7.73 percent property tax rate increase Monday night. Alderman approved a Truth in Taxation resolution last week. People who own a $100,000 home would have to pay an estimated increase of just more than $25 in taxes.

In Quincy, Moore says the tax levy only goes to support the Quincy Public Library, paying off city debt and funding police and fire pension. He says payments for conferences like this come out of operating expenses.

Click here to read the INN report.

You can see the list of itemized fees acquired by INN through a FOIA below:

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