To the Editor:
The 2012 tax bills have been sent to property owners’ mail boxes. For many, their tax bills increased. If you are not angry, you should be. If you haven’t appealed your township assessment, you should. Why? Because the township assessment system is flawed and unfair.
Property owners, both home and business, will receive a higher tax bill than those who appealed their assessment and won. There are many winners. The McHenry County Assessment Office received 10,500 appeals in 2012, a record number.
On an average of the counties’ 17 townships, 84 percent won their appeals, lowering tax bills. Note: Of the 10,500 appeals, none came from the 17 township assessors. Hmm.
Township assessment challenges are increasing. The McHenry County Supervisor of Assessments received 1,100 challenges in 2007; 2,300 in 2008; 5,900 in 2010; 8,900 in 2011, and 10,500 in 2012.
Last year, the county granted 111 assessment reductions of $100,000 or more on business properties, equivalent to $300,000 in fair cash value. Some business properties were over-assessed by about $2 million. JC Penney in McHenry had a $427,500 assessment reduction.
Property owners do not receive assessments that are fair, uniform or equitable from the township assessing system. Why? Each township has its own assessor; assessments vary from township to township because each assessor uses a different procedure. When township assessors make errors, they don’t receive a higher tax bill, you do.
Property assessments should be done on a countywide level by the county Office of Assessments. The township assessor, and township government, should be abolished.