Cornerstone Services Inc., a nonprofit organization, was denied a conditional use permit by the Kankakee City Council Tuesday. The Council voted 13-0 against Cornerstone, the No vote focusing on the fact the organization – because of nonprofit status – does not pay property taxes.
Fifth-Ward Alderman Tyler Tall tells the Daily-Journal "it's a problem with the tax base, not the organization."
Cornerstone already operates nine properties in Kankakee and does not pay property taxes on any of them, according to the Journal. Cornerstone operates the group homes for the developmentally disabled. This particular location is in the Indian Meadows subdivision – on the far west side of the city.
The necessary conditional use permit is because the subdivision is along Route 113 and zoned single-family dwelling.
Mayor Nina Epstein and other aldermen pointed out, this about paying property taxes – when one property doesn't pay, others have to pick up that cost.
But then comes the issue of the Fair Housing Act – is it a violation ? The D-J reports Cornerstone president and CEO Ben Stortz is questioning discrimination against a certain class of citizens.