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Thousands of 2015 property assessments have increased significantly (Part I)

If you filed a successful Real Estate Assessment Complaint Form in the last 4 years, and live in Rockford Township, chances are you will be shocked by your increased property assessment this year and the resultant increase in your property taxes next year.

Quadrennial property assessments are calculated every four years on all properties in a county to determine the ad valorem taxes to be paid the following year, and township assessors are required, by law, to revalue all property within their jurisdiction.

The overall Rockford Township Equalized Assessed Valuation – EAV – decreased this year by an average of 3.5% based on a three year average sales ratio. A total of 50,502 parcel assessments were lower, 12,972 parcel assessment didn’t change from the previous year and 9356 parcel assessments were raised, many significantly.

It is not well known, but according to Illinois statute 35 ILCS 200/16-80, property owners who filed a property assessment complaint form and received a reduction from the Board of Review – BOR – on a particular parcel of property, that “override” of the calculated assessment must remain in effect until the next quadrennial assessment year, unless substantial cause is presented for reversal.

Therefore, the Rockford Township assessor had the opportunity to “reset” BOR overrides in a single quadrennial assessment year, if the parcel values were found to be significantly less than the assessor’s 2015 calculated values.

Many of the 9356 parcels that had substantial reductions in assessed values during the last four years will see a significant increase in their assessed value due to this “reset.”

Reductions may also have been due to distress sales at foreclosure values, short sales, or the aforementioned BOR overrides since the last quadrennial assessment in 2011.

The Rockford Township assessor, Ken Crowley and I both fall into the 9356 property assessment group, where assessments have increased by 15%, 25% or even more!

This year my parcel’s assessment was reset an additional 24% from its current Fair Market Value of $121,277 to $150,522, almost $30,000 dollars in a single year.

The Rockford Township assessor’s property Fair Market Value – FMV – assessment was reset from $165,168 to $194,893, another increase of almost $30,000 dollars!

Assessments are usually based on a three year average sales ratio of FMV. However, real property assessments may also be valued uniformly or equitably as the General Assembly provided by law (Art.9, Sec 2, Illinois Constitution of 1970).

An inequitable assessment is one that values one property at a higher level of assessment than the assessment of comparable properties, regardless of whether that comparable was sold or not, and/or had BOR overrides.

There are currently a number of equitable complaint appeals pending before the Illinois Property Tax Review Board – PTAB, since the local BOR had rejected the complaints.

For comparison, the equalization factor in Rockford Township has been reduced by a total of 21.68% over the past four years, without BOR overrides.

If my parcel’s original assessment of $180,699, prior to the BOR override in 2011, was reduced by the four year 21.68% reduction in the equalization factor, my resulting 2015 FMV would be $141,525 not the $150,562 calculated with the “reset.”

Comparable parcels that were used in my successful 2011 complaint are currently thousands less than my 2015 assessment, except the two that also received BOR overrides in 2011.

If you believe your property is not assessed correctly or your assessment is not equitable (fair) in relationship to other comparable parcels, you should file an assessment complaint form available on the following website:

http://wincoil.us/departments/supervisor-of-assessments/

The website also includes the Rockford Township assessment values and comparable assessments as of Monday August 3rd for the 2015 assessment year.

Rockford Township property assessment notices were mailed Thursday, August 6. The complaint filing deadline for the township will be Thursday, September 10th, all other township complaints are due on Tuesday, September 1st.

The significance of these large assessment increases will become apparent, when the huge 2016 tax increases on these parcels are discussed this Sunday in Part II.

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