Tax Caps do not require an increase in property taxes

With tax caps, a municipality may increase the tax rate to recover the current taxes paid by property owners, plus the rate of inflation or 5% whichever is less. Tax Caps allow but do not require a taxing body to levy the full amount, especially in a declining property value market.

Winnebago County’s property taxes will remain the same in 2012. The property tax levied this year for the county was $38,361,414. For 2012, the amount requested is $38,360,842 – $572 less than this year.

The county tax rate will increase by a few cents in 2012 since property values decreased by almost 5%. In order to collect the same amount of property taxes, the tax rates were increased. However, next year’s tax rate of 88 cents will still be less than it was 20 years ago.

The county could have requested an additional $600,000 in property taxes by adding the 1.5% due to inflation allowed under tax caps, but unlike most other taxing districts, chose not to do so in this economy.

Winnebago County property taxes on my home in 1995 were $419.63. In 2011, 16 years later, my county property taxes were $416.89, a decrease of $2.74! Winnebago County taxes represent only 7.5% of the total property tax bill.

Most remaining taxing bodies have raised their tax rates to the maximum allowed under tax caps! The taxes paid on my property tax bill this year to the City of Rockford and the Rockford School District increased by 4.85% and 7.46% respectively, despite my property value dropping 1.4%.

The City of Rockford represents aproximately 22% of the total property tax bill and the Rockford School District represents over 52% – a combined total of 74% of the total property tax bill.

The actual tax rates will not be determined until all property assessment complaints, some 7600, have been processed through the Board of Review, probably sometime in March 2012.

Regardless of the tax rate determined by the BOR, the county will receive no more in property taxes next year, than it received this year, because the county requested no new taxes!

Some property tax bills in the county could be increased if the property’s assessment was increased or the total taxes requested by the other taxing bodies are increased to the maximum and those taxes are weighted more than ten times the county’s taxes.

If taxes are increased this year, the tax base for subsequent years will be higher. Taxes calculated for those subsequent years will compound on this higher tax base resulting in even higher taxes in spite of declining property values in future years.

The county chose not to raise taxes – other taxing bodies could have done the same!



  1. readingmike94

    1. wow what a piece of campaign literature using your blog to advance your campaign, agenda and role in the blog without the disclaimer that you are on the board isn’t that a conflict of interest, and a violation of the newspaper ethics or editorial positions? 2. if you can use your blog to advance credits you deem worthy of on a board you serve on why not take the heat or answer questions about other boards you are on? you cannot have it both ways 3. I would seriously ask the rrstar to review this piece you wrote without the disclaimer that you are on the board I believe it is a serious violation of professional ethics of the newspaper and of an elected official to not reveal that or to use a personal blog instead of a letter to the editor or campaign lit etc I seriously think you blew this one ted

    • Ted Biondo

      Readingmike94, everything in this post is a fact. If you think it is inappropriate – go for it! I write about the schools. I was on the board, the RVC board and other boards. I’m still doing financial committees with the RSD205 school district – they want me there helping to solve problems – it’s a volunteer job – I write about them all. I have insight and information concerning these entities, that’s why I’m doing the blog.

      The public needs to be kept informed how their money is being spent, and I point out other ways they can save even more taxes with my insight. If you are upset about that, then I’m doing my job, thank you! I will continue to place these issues in public despite the public entities wanting these issues only discussed in private. The Open meetings Act is not required on this blog!

      I understand these issues better than most, and will tell people how to file assessment complaints to reduce their taxes further. I have written many articles about the County, RVC, the school district, and the REA contract to keep people informed and will continue to do so despite your admonitions. I’ve been posting on this blog for 18 months, some 550 posts and some 6400 comments and this is the all you can come up with?

  2. readingmike94

    Ted you simply don’t get it 1. You have all the right and opinion to write about taxes and budgets I dont question your insight or analysis, nor do I question about volunteer work but the point I was making is that there should have been some italics or note about you being a member of the winnebago co. board period. 2. given the fact you are on the board and were writing in your blog about the board there needed that notation the lack of it implies an ethical breach end of discussion. when you write on your blog about public policy issues involving rvc or the winnebago co. board there needs to have that notation that you are serving on that board period of the discussion. 3. to muddy the waters with the open meeting act is simply throwing a red herring on the discussion at hand and 4. to the paper you need to monitor this any other paper media outlet always notes when there is a potential conflict of interest such as this all I am saying is make a note that Mr. Biondo serves on the board to accurately place in context his comments

  3. readingmike94

    ted any comment??

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