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Burton Township residents raising concerns about property assessments

McHenry County, township officials having meeting to explain process

Recent concerns about property assessments in Burton Township have pushed township and county officials to hold an informational meeting Wednesday for residents.

Burton Township Supervisor Sam Jones said the meeting will be at 7 p.m. at Richmond-Burton Community High School, 8311 Route 31.

"What's going on is people are upset because this was a quadrennial year for tax assessment," Jones said.

Every four years, property values in the county are reassessed to make sure they are fair market value and that all homes are valued equally, Jones said.

Burton Township Assessor Jessica Huber said not every parcel in the township was accurately assessed at one-third market value, which is set by Illinois, in previous years.

"My reassessment brought everyone to as close as I could get to one-third market value," said Huber, who's been the Burton Township assessor since Jan. 1, 2014.

Huber said she saw a range of assessment percentage changes from negative-10 percent, up to 130 percent from 2014 to 2015.

Property tax bills are based on the assessed value of a property, and Huber said she does not know yet whether taxes will be higher because tax rates have not been published yet.

Jones said he, Huber and McHenry County Chief Assessor Robert Ross will be at the public meeting to explain to residents how the property assessment is done.

"People don't explain property tax assessments, and there's a lot involved," Jones said.

Huber has received about 155 calls, most of them negative, she said, since Oct. 15 when the property assessment values went out.

Paul Kaup is a Burton Township property owner who said he saw almost a 30 percent change in his property assessment value.

“Even though they raised me up, and I’m where I should be, they didn’t raise everybody else up,” Kaup said.

He has started an email list and sign-up on his website of about 250 people in the township who have seen their assessment percentages increase.

"Their response is that our predecessor has made mistakes and the review board had made mistakes and misassessed our properties,” Kaup said of the township assessor. "So now they’re calling these increases. We're basically paying for the mistakes of the predecessors."

Huber said the percentage differences were caused not by mistakes, but "by the inequities of assessment from the previous years.”

Jones said there is an appeal process for property assessments, which will be explained at Wednesday's meeting.

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