Rock Island County, Cordova Owe $3M More Than $500,000 for Improperly Assessed Taxes

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In a recent development, it has been revealed that both Rock Island County and Cordova owe a staggering amount of money, totaling more than $500,000, for improperly assessed taxes. This news comes amidst an ongoing lawsuit against the 3M plant located in Cordova, which has been accused of polluting the nearby water sources. The Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board has ordered that four years’ worth of property taxes be refunded due to the improper assessment of the land the 3M plant sits on. This article will delve into the details of this case and shed light on the implications of this situation for both Cordova and Rock Island County.

Improper Assessment of 3M Plant’s Land

The Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board has determined that the land on which the 3M plant in Cordova is situated was improperly assessed for property taxes. As a result, over $500,000 in taxes paid from 2017 to 2020 must be refunded to the company. This is significant considering the fact that the state of Illinois is currently suing 3M for allegedly manufacturing and disposing of dangerous chemicals into the nearby water sources. The Illinois Attorney General’s lawsuit alleges that 3M has been manufacturing and improperly disposing of synthetic chemicals known as PFAS, which have been detected in the Mississippi River, groundwater, and nearby residential wells.

Impact on Cordova and Rock Island County

Cordova, along with Rock Island County, Port Byron Township, and nearby school districts, are now responsible for repaying the improperly assessed taxes to 3M. This ruling has significant financial implications for these entities, as they will have to ensure the repayment of a substantial amount of money. According to the Rock Island County Treasurer’s Office, there are a total of 10 different entities, including Rock Island County, the Cordova Fire Protection District, and the Erie School District, that owe money to 3M. As of April 4th, approximately half of the owed amount had already been repaid.

Silence from Cordova and Rock Island County

Despite the gravity of the situation, both Cordova and Rock Island County have chosen to remain silent on the matter. During a recent City Council meeting, Mayor James Boone stated that he would not be commenting on the issue, citing the ongoing lawsuit between 3M and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This silence has left residents feeling concerned about the safety of their drinking water, as they feel that they have been left in the dark regarding this issue. There were hopes that the City Council would address the quality and safety of Cordova’s drinking water during the meeting, but the outcome remains uncertain.

Separation of Tax Issue and Lawsuit

It is important to note that the issue of improperly assessed taxes is entirely separate from the ongoing lawsuit between the state of Illinois and 3M. While these two matters are connected due to the pollution allegations against 3M, the tax issue is a distinct legal matter. The city of Cordova is not involved in the state’s lawsuit against the company. This distinction is crucial to understand, as it may impact the way in which the funds owed to 3M are repaid.

Additional Incident in Cordova

In addition to the tax issue and the ongoing lawsuit, Cordova recently experienced an incident where a man was trapped in a trench for over three hours. The details surrounding this incident remain unknown, as there has been limited information provided by the city. At the recent City Council meeting, the city refused to comment on the incident, referring to it as a “maintenance incident.” The man was eventually freed from the trench and taken away by ambulance, but the reasons for his presence in the trench and the extent of his injuries are still unclear.


The revelation that Rock Island County and Cordova owe more than $500,000 in improperly assessed taxes has significant implications for both entities. This situation is closely intertwined with the ongoing lawsuit against the 3M plant in Cordova, which has been accused of polluting the water sources. The repayment of these taxes will pose a financial burden on Cordova, Rock Island County, and other affected entities. The silence surrounding this issue has left residents feeling uncertain about the safety of their drinking water. The incident involving the man stuck in a trench adds further intrigue to the situation, as details about the incident remain shrouded in mystery. As this case unfolds, it is essential to monitor the developments and ensure that both the tax issue and pollution allegations are addressed appropriately.

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