The Illinois Constitution says you can’t have laws targeting individual people or businesses.
To get around that, lawmakers will sometimes pass bills that seem general but everyone knows who’s benefiting.
That’s what happened for Elliott Aviation, which services private and corporate planes in Moline.
In order to encourage expansion here in Illinois rather than in Iowa, lawmakers voted to eliminate property tax bills for private aviation companies at Quad City International Airport.
The local school district sued, saying the law would cost it $150,000 a year.
In a 6-1 decision, the Supreme Court struck down the tax break. The majority says nothing separates Elliott from many businesses at other airports — or anywhere along the border.