Assessment appeals clock starts for Algonquin, 3 other townships

Residents of McHenry County’s most populous township, and three rural ones, have 30 days to appeal their property tax assessments.

Assessments for land owners in Algonquin, Hebron, Marengo and Riley townships were published in the past week.

The four townships make up about one-third of the county’s 308,760 residents, according to the 2010 Census. Algonquin Township includes most of Crystal Lake, Algonquin, Lake in the Hills and Fox River Grove, all of Cary, and part of Barrington Hills. Also included in the latest round of assessments are the municipalities of Hebron and Marengo.

Landowners in Marengo Township have until Nov. 28 to appeal. The deadline for Algonquin and Hebron townships is Nov. 30, and Riley Township landowners have until Dec. 3.

Assessments, or one-third of a property’s value, determine a property owner’s share of county, municipal, school, township and other taxing districts’ extensions for property tax bills due in 2013. Property owners have 30 days to appeal from the day their township assessments are published.

The last remaining township to publish, Grafton, is expected to do so later this month. The appeal deadlines for all other McHenry County townships have passed.

Landowners file challenges with the county, which go before a board to determine whether, and by how much, assessments should be lowered. Call your township assessor or visit http://shawurl.com/ckf to learn more about how to file an appeal.

The number of assessment challenges has set records in recent years as property tax bills increase despite home values dropping. McHenry 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. The increase is double the 1.5 percent that many taxing bodies billed on this year’s taxes. The tax cap, designed to rein in property taxes by limiting them to an inflationary rate of increase, works against taxpayers and for governments when property values fall. When values decline, the tax cap guarantees that the taxing bodies can collect the inflationary increase if they so choose.

Some local governments plan to hold their levies flat and reject the increase, and others are considering doing so. On the other hand, state lawmakers may vote in January on a plan to shift teacher pensions to local property taxes, and social service agencies this morning are asking a McHenry County Board committee for an April referendum that would seek a tax increase to help people with developmental disabilities.

Assessment appeal deadlines

The following is a list of deadlines for property owners by township to appeal their property assessments:

• Marengo Township residents have until Nov. 28.

• Residents of Algonquin and Hebron townships have until Nov. 30.

• Riley Township residents have until Dec. 3.

Assessments for Grafton Township, the sole remaining township not to publish, are expected to be published later this month.

Appeal deadlines for all other McHenry County townships have passed.

How to appeal

Visit http://shawurl.com/ckf or call your township assessor to learn more about how to appeal your property assessment.

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