Sunday, September 7, 2008

Property Tax Protest

Be sure to read the article on Page 1B of today's Northwest Herald (or online at about Bob Anderson's efforts to promote appeal of your McHenry County property tax bill.

Anderson has spent $1,300 to print 14,000 flyers that will be included with Monday's Northwest Herald and with The Woodstock Independent; they will also be distributed to area residents.

Why is Bob hot? He has a 50'x120' lot behind his barbershop. In 2006, according to the paper, his lot was assessed at $13,000. What was the assessment in 2007? $28,000! TWENTY-EIGHT THOUSAND DOLLARS!

McHenry County Chief Assessment Officer Donna Mayberry's response? "Even if more homeowners successfully appeal, it would insignificantly affect municipal budgets." And "The taxing districts are going to get their money."

The first statement is a throw-away statement, worth absolutely nothing. Municipalities can create any budget they want, in the black or in the red. The budget is what they are planning to spend, whether they have the money or not. So Mayberry's first statement is true and it means nothing at all.

But the second statement? That the taxing districts are going to get their money?

This ought to worry every taxpayer in McHenry County. For an elected official to make sure a crass statement is inexcusable!

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that property values have fallen in McHenry County. You cannot sell your home for anywhere near what you think it's worth. But a house is "worth" only what you can sell it for. What is Fair Market Value? It's what a willing buyer will pay a willing seller.

When you set a price on your house and it sits on the market for 18 months as you keep dropping the price, finally you reach the Fair Market Value and that becomes the selling price. What Mayberry and other officials don't "get" is assessments are inflated prices, when you take out foreclosures. Of course, foreclosures contribute to real market assessment values!

Mayberry says most McHenry County residents [she (or the reporter) meant "property owners"] will see their property tax bill increase this year, even if their assessment decreased, because taxes have risen.

Well, McHenry County property owners: WAKE UP. File your property tax protest on-time. Don't get snookered or pacified. Assessed values need to go down. Taxes need to go down. Call your Township office on Monday and find out exactly how you file a protest or "appeal" to your assessed valuation.

You can no longer afford all the "services" being jammed down your throats. It's time to say, "Enough already!"

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