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Property tax bills in the mail : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Property tax bills in the mail
Higher rates may mean bigger bills

by Matt Schury

5/1/2014

Why is my property tax bill so high?

That's a question you may be asking yourself soon as you open your mailbox. The 2014 property tax bills were mailed earlier this week, according to Kendall County Treasurer Jill Ferko, and the two due dates this year will be June 3 and Sept. 3, respectively.

The answer to the above question is that it depends on the size of the home as well as its location.

In Kendall County a tax bill for someone with a similar valued home can vary greatly depending on the taxing districts in which they live and how much those districts decided to levy, Andy Nicoletti, the county's supervisor of assessments said.

"It depends on where you are," Nicoletti said. "Some places will see an increase, some may see a decrease although the (tax) rates overall everywhere have actually increased."

The tax rates this year range 7.5 to 15 percent this year compared to 7.2 to 13 percent last year, depending on the taxing district. Overall, assessments were down slightly from last year while the rates are going up, which is how the formula for calculating property taxes works.

"Unless your assessment went down by a greater percentage than what the rate increase was, you're probably not going to see a decrease (on your bill)," Nicoletti cautions. "So as the EAV is decreasing and the levies are increasing it does cause that rate to increase," Nicoletti explained.

The growth in the county early in the 21st century caused a demand in services, which caused the levy to increase to operate. However, the growth has not impacted all areas of the county evenly.

"The growth out in Plano impacted them more than, say, maybe Oswego because Oswego was already a little bit bigger to start with," he said.

Another misconception, Nicoletti says, is that people sometimes think that if their taxes went up, the districts are automatically getting extra money.

"Just because your tax bill went up, say, 25 percent, doesn't mean the school district or the city got another 25 percent (in funds)," he added. "They don't understand that the taxing body isn't getting another 25 percent in money and that's what I think the biggest misconception is."

He said if people have issues with their taxes they should look at how much the taxing bodies are requesting in levies each year. The districts are required to hold public hearings when their levies are set but residents seldom attend these meetings or comment. However, he added that people should keep some things in mind.

"Say, with the school districts-you have more kids now in your district and you're working with a similar EAV (equalized assessed value) to what it was five years ago when maybe you didn't have an extra 10 percent of kids," he said.

Residents can pay tax bills in person at the treasurer's office located at 111 West Fox Street, Yorkville. They can also visit their local bank to make payments, mail in a check or pay online at illinoisepay.com. Taxpayers can also opt to have the amount automatically deducted from their checking accounts for next year's bill. More information is available at co.kendall.il.us.

Ferko reminds property owners who escrow those taxes through their bank to double check with them to make sure they pay the taxes out of the escrow account.

A distribution of the funds to the different taxing districts usually takes place after they start collecting payments on the roughly 46,000 bills that were sent out, Ferko said.

"We usually try to do a distribution before the end of May," she added.




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