|

Senior Citizen Exemption increased – reduces this year’s property taxes!

Many elderly homeowners are not aware of the property tax exemptions and programs available to Illinois senior citizens. Various programs, including the Senior Citizen Exemption, reduce property taxes for qualified seniors with applications and guidelines available from the Winnebago County Supervisor of Assessments Office. The Senior Citizen property tax exemption has been raised from $4000 to $5000 reducing this year’s property tax bill for taxpayers over 65 years of age. With the Rockford area tax rate approaching $14.00 per hundred of...

read more

Municipal alliances not always advantageous for taxpayers

According to a recent article  in the Rockford Register Star, Rockford is joining with fellow industrial cities, Peoria, Aurora and Danville to form an alliance to lobby state legislators for solutions to common urban problems in the areas of education, poverty, and crime. Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis believes there is power in numbers and more could be accomplished with a group of municipalities lobbying Springfield legislators. The coalition could eventually include 10 to 12 cities representing over a million people. However, these cities are...

read more

Inserting taxpayers back into Rockford TIF approval process

To reiterate my previous post, unelected officials, who represent each affected taxing district on a Joint Review Board, during the initial phases of the Rockford Tax Increment Finance approval process, typically do not inform their district’s elected officials of the scheduled state mandated JRB meetings and then fail to attend the meetings themselves. Taxpayers are thus provided little or no representation at the JRB meetings, despite the fact that TIF approval affects area property taxes for 23 years. The tax revenue diverted from the...

read more

TIF approval removes taxpayers from portion of process

About 18 months ago, I posted concerning the Joint Review Board (JRB), consisting of non-elected representatives from specified local taxing districts, convened by the city to determine if newly proposed Rockford Tax Increment Finance (TIF) districts meet the eligibility requirements of municipal state code. The board consists of 9 members, one selected from each – Community College, school district, park district, library district, township, fire protection district, the county, the municipality requesting the TIF, all of which have...

read more

Two state reps attempt to limit backdoor referendums that use Tax Caps

The tax caps people desired, and what the Illinois General Assembly originally intended, was supposed to limit what municipalities could collect to the amount they had collected the previous year, plus the rate of inflation or 5%, whichever was less. Taxpayers didn’t want the taxing bodies to get taxes based on unlimited property appreciation plus the rate of inflation, which was happening at the time. With the current depreciation of property, the taxes should go down unless the people approve an increase – that’s the way taxpayers wanted...

read more

Illinois Public Pensions, Municipal Bankruptcy and Illinois taxes

The unfunded liabilities facing government pension plans have gained increased public scrutiny during the past year. Governing entities and taxpayers are beginning to recognize the potential consequences of public pension liabilities. Headlines have exposed municipal bankruptcies, such as Detroit and numerous cities in California. In some extreme cases, pension liabilities have been one of the key drivers for municipal bankruptcy filings and reduced pensions could wind up as the solution for the budget shortfall. Current data indicates that...

read more

Tax Increment Financing – even less effective as property values decrease

Tax Increment Financing is a dubious economic development tool used by Illinois municipalities seeking to increase the assessed value of property within “blighted” areas of the municipality, through public investments, to create new growth and new taxes. Any increase in the assessed value of property within the TIF district over a period of 23 years, which is above an initial base Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) that existed when the TIF was created, is called the Tax Increment EAV. This Tax Increment EAV is multiplied by the current tax rate...

read more
Share: