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Rockford property tax rate decreases for first time in ten years

Rockford property tax bills, which are scheduled to be mailed to taxpayers this Tuesday, May 2, 2017, will show a slight decrease in the tax rate for the first time in 10 years, due to an increase in the overall Winnebago County property values. The total Winnebago County Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) increased by over $54M dollars over the previous year’s EAV of $4.227B dollars. The first installment of the 2016 property taxes is due June 2, 2017 with the second installment due on September 1, 2017. The last time the property tax rate...

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EAV Fluctuation has little effect on property taxes under Tax Caps

Most people in Rockford and around the state believe that when property values increase in a taxing district due to a real estate market turnaround, Tax Increment Finance (TIF) districts expiring or new construction, the tax base increases and the net result will be lower property taxes in that district. It doesn’t work that way under current Illinois property tax laws. Taxes do not decrease simply because the Equalized Assessed Valuation (EAV) increases in a given tax district since Winnebago County is subject to the Illinois Property Tax...

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Take advantage of college tax credit for middle class families

Your federal income taxes are due by April 15th. However, there’s still time to offset some of the costs of higher education by reducing the amount of your income tax by up to $2500 with an American Opportunity Tax Credit. According to an article, “Tax breaks for college costs,” published in the Rockford Register Star this past Valentine’s Day, you may reduce the amount of your income tax if you paid for a college student’s educational expenses in 2015 and you and the student meet certain eligibility requirements. A tax credit reduces the...

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Winnebago County is an excellent steward of taxpayer dollars

Last Sunday’s Rockford Register Star Opinion Section included a column written by recent county board appointee, David Boomer, describing his first experience/lesson in county government by impugning the financial integrity of Winnebago County officials. Most Winnebago County officials and staff were disappointed, to say the least, to see the county’s financial judgement compared to the reckless spending of Springfield and Washington, D.C., based on a single vote restructuring a portion of the 1% Public Safety Sales Tax (PSST) to help fund...

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Is it time to get rid of Tax Caps?

Property tax bills have arrived and it is obvious that the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law – PTELL – commonly known as the Property Tax Cap Law, is not working as intended. PTELL was supposed to protect property owners in non-home rule districts from huge tax increases when home values were increasing very rapidly by limiting taxing districts to the taxes levied the previous year plus inflation up to 5% and an additional amount for new construction. The law was not intended to hurt taxpayers by increasing property taxes, even as...

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Municipal budgets should balance services provided with taxpayers’ ability to pay

Winnebago County’s fiscal year budget, which began October 1, 2014, was approved at the county’s last meeting in September. The budget process, however, doesn’t end with budget approval; the process continues throughout the year. The City of Rockford and the Rockford School District will complete their budget process by the end of the year. The county represents approximately 7.4% of property tax bills, while the city represents 22.0% and the school district is 51.6%. As Chairman of the Finance Committee for the Rockford School District, Rock...

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