My appeal: Please give taxpayers needed break
I will be appealing my assessment next year because I cannot afford the alternative.
Like many of you, I opened up my tax bill in the spring and gasped. I thought I was headed for a Redd Foxx “Sanford & Son” grabber – the BIG one! An $800 bump on a modest house in unincorporated McHenry County – without the added whammy of a library, park district or municipal taxes – can make the healthiest among us clutch their chests.
The Property Tax Extension Limitation Law, or PTELL, is the culprit. Adopted in 1991 as a way to reign in out-of-control property tax bills in the collar counties, the law limits the annual increase that taxing bodies can receive to the lesser of two things – the rate of inflation or 5 percent. But nobody foresaw the cataclysmic drop in property values. Under that scenario, the tax cap works against property owners by guaranteeing that taxing bodies can collect the inflationary increase – 1.5 percent on the bills due this year. Considering there are 150,000 parcels in McHenry County, we’re talking some serious coin.
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