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Lower assessments coming for many : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Lower assessments coming for many
Over 47,000 Kendall County property owner to receive change notices

by Matt Schury


If you're one of those people who thinks your neighbor's lawn is greener and his tax assessment is lower, read on because there may be something you can do about the latter.

This week the Ledger-Sentinel and its sister papers, the Kendall County Record and Plano Record are publishing roughly 47,000 assessment change notices for each of the nine townships in Kendall County.

Andrew Nicoletti, Kendall County's Supervisor of Assessments, says if you think something is amiss with the way your property is assessed, you should begin by calling your township assessor.

Township assessors, along with their contact information, are printed at the bottom of this article.

Each year township assessors work to determine the assessed valuation of property in their townships. Then in the fall the properties that have changed values are published. Property owners are also mailed a copy of their property or home assessment.

Homeowners interested in appealing their assessment should gather as much information as they can about the other sales in their neighborhood as well as sales of similar homes, Nicoletti said.

The tax assessment appeals board, known simply as the Board of Review, decides which assessment appeals to hear and, if they determine a mistake was made, can then rule to change the assessment.

The final date to file your assessment appeal with the Board of Review this year is Nov. 5. All assessments and links to filing with the Board of Review can be found at the county's website at

A decrease in assessments has occurred the last few years and, Nicoletti confirmed, that trend will continue this year with most of the roughly 47,000 parcels.

"The study shows that the assessments are still too high and that's why most townships saw reductions," he said adding that the reductions varied from three percent to 17 percent.

One thing to keep in mind, Nicoletti points out, is that state law requires assessors to take into account sales data in an area over the three previous years. For 2012, assessors are looking at what homes sold for in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

"As far as the three year average is concerned, we're probably going to see assessments continuing to come down for the next couple of years I would say," Nicoletti said.

The total assessed value in Kendall County, or the tax base, slipped from $3.1 billion last year to $2.9 billion, according to Nicoletti. New construction in the county this year was $21.9 million, down about $3.1 million from last year.

Tax bills may
still be going up

Officials use assessments to figure out tax bills each year by multiplying the assessed value of each property by the tax rate for each government agency minus any exemptions. Despite a lower assessment, tax bills in the county may not automatically go down, Nicoletti points out.

Assessments given to properties this fall will be used in calculating the tax bills county property owners will receive next spring.

Two factors control the amount found on your tax bill, your assessment and the tax rate. If one of those is going up, the other is usually going down, Nicoletti says. For instance if the assessments in a district fell, then tax rates in that district would increase to make up for that loss, he explained.

For a long time tax rates were decreasing and assessments were increasing before the real estate market crashed.

Nicoletti points out that it is still possible for individual homeowners to see decreases in their tax bills if their home's value plummeted.

"If your assessment decreases by more than what the tax rate is going to increase, you could see a reduction in your tax bill," he said.

Under the state's tax cap known as the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL), taxing bodies can request their previous year's tax receipts plus the rate of inflation or five percent, whichever is less.

Taxing bodies can try to hold the line by requesting less in their levies, Nicoletti points out. However, lowering levies may mean cutting services-like snow removal or longer ambulance wait times in order to maintain budgets.

Many Oswego Township
assessments show decreases

Dave Maher, Oswego Township Assessor, says that about 19,000 parcels will be changing in his township.

The township is the most populous in the county and includes all of the Village of Oswego, portions of the Villages of Montgomery and Plainfield, a section of the City of Aurora, and the large unincorporated Boulder Hill Subdivision.

He adds that some areas of the township will see larger decreases than others but most assessments are being lowered 8 to 8.5 percent this year in Oswego Township.

"Since the market has been dropping, some neighborhoods have dropped more than other neighborhoods have or types of homes, like townhomes," Maher said. "For some reason, the townhome values have dropped even more than the single-family homes."

Maher said he isn't sure exactly why that is but points out that the market values of the single-family homes are close to what someone looking at a townhome might be willing to pay.

Looking to next year, Maher said he already suspects another decrease in property assessments

"Assessments are going to be going down again next year," he said. "And by then hopefully we're reaching the bottom."

Maher said as far as taxing districts are concerned, the Oswego School District is the largest in the county and people should pay attention to what they are doing with their levies. He said the school distinct has to pay back bonds it took out to pay for building projects over the last decade.

"It really comes back to paying back these bonds and that's what's created the increase in these (tax) bills in the last two years," Maher said.

Contact information

The township assessors in Kendall County are: Marie Bracken, Little Rock Township: 630-552-3328; Raymond Waclaw, Bristol Township: 630-553-3940; David Maher, Oswego Township: 630-554-3214; Dick Whitfield, Fox Township: 630-553-9084; Michael Hardecopf, Kendall Township: 630-553-6525; Susie Brusveen, NaAuSay, Lisbon and Seward Townships: 815-475-46-09; and Ray Eddy, Big Grove Township: 815-695-5866.

The Kendall County Assessor's office can be reached at 630-553-4146.

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