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Time ticks to appeal county tax assessments

Residents of Dorr and McHenry townships have 30 days to challenge their property assessments, and time is running out for homeowners in three rural neighboring townships.

Dorr Township residents have until Oct. 12 to appeal, and McHenry Township residents have until Oct. 15.

Property owners have a 30-day window from the day their townships publish their assessments to file an appeal with the county, and both townships published theirs last week.

The townships include all or parts of Woodstock, McHenry, Bull Valley, McCullom Lake, Johnsburg, Ringwood and Lakemoor.

Friday is the deadline for property owners in Alden, Greenwood and Seneca townships to appeal their assessments. The townships include all or parts of Woodstock, Greenwood, Wonder Lake and Bull Valley.

Assessment challenges are filed with the county, and go before a board of review to determine how much assessments should be lowered. You can learn more about how to challenge your assessment by calling your township assessor or by visiting http://shawurl.com/ckf.

The number of property owners challenging their assessments has reached record levels over the past few years as property tax bills increase despite significant drops in home values. The county fielded 8,893 assessment appeals last year for this year’s property tax bills, up 51 percent from 2010. The 5,885 appeals filed that year were up 40 percent from 2009.

The rate of inflation for next year’s tax bills is 3 percent, which means that taxing bodies can collect 3 percent more than they did this year. That inflationary increase is more than double the 1.5 percent for property taxes that were paid this year.

Taxing bodies are allowed to capture that 3 percent under the tax cap, which was imposed on the collar counties in 1991 to rein in skyrocketing property taxes by limiting how much more governments could collect each year to either the rate of inflation or 5 percent, whichever is less.

But when property values fall, a scenario that lawmakers never anticipated, the tax cap works against taxpayers by guaranteeing that taxing bodies are entitled to the inflationary increase if they choose to take it, regardless of lowered property values.

Eight of the county’s 17 townships have published their assessments. Assessments for Burton and Dunham townships are expected to be published later this week.

Tax appeal deadlines

Eight of the county’s 17 townships have published their assessments. Property owners have 30 days from the publication date to appeal their assessments if they so wish.

Deadlines so far:

• Residents of Alden, Greenwood and Seneca townships have until next Friday.

• Hartland Township residents have until Friday.

• Nunda Township residents have until Oct. 9.

• Dorr Township residents have until Oct. 12.

• McHenry Township residents have until Oct. 15.

The deadline for Richmond Township residents has already passed.

On the Net

Visit http://shawurl.com/ckf to learn more about how to challenge your assessment.

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