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Property tax season ends when bills arrive : Editorials : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Property tax season ends when bills arrive

As we reported earlier this month, Kendall County property owners should expect to find their annual property tax bill in the mail within the next two weeks. County Treasurer Jill Ferko and her staff are now working to prepare the bills for mailing.

We remind county property owners the arrival of the tax bills marks the conclusion of the annual property assessment/tax season. For property owners, the new season will begin late this summer or in early fall when the county's supervisor of assessments sends out letters to property owners whose assessments will be changed for the coming year. The assessment supervisor also publishes all of the assessment changes each year in this newspaper. Over the past 30 years or so the majority of Kendall County property owners have been given new assessments on an annual basis. Under state law, residential properties must be assessed at one-third their fair market value, based on a three-year average.

Once they receive their new assessment, property owners have 30 days to question or object to their new assessment. Those who believe their new assessment is in error have 30 days under state law to file an objection. Those who file objections then have an opportunity over the winter to present their case to the county board of tax review for an adjustment to their new assessment. Once the board completes its hearings, all of the new assessments are finalized and the county treasurer's office can begin calculating individual tax bills.

Property owners should pay close attention to changes in their assessment since it is one of two key figures that county officials use in calculating the tax bills. The other figure is the total tax rate of all the local governmental agencies serving the area in which the property owners live.

This year, as in past years, tax bills will show an increase if the total tax rate has increased and local assessments have either stayed the same or have also increased. Tax bills decrease when either the total tax rate and assessments decrease or if the assessment decrease is large enough to offset an increase in the tax rate.

Since the 2008 recession property values in Kendall County have plummeted, but most homeowners have actually seen their tax bills increase as many local governmental agencies increased their tax rates to offset the declining assessments. This has prevented most homeowners from securing any benefit from the declining value of their homes.

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