By Rebecca Sponsler
Advocate News Staff
Bond County Supervisor of Assessments Georgia Shank, Bond County Clerk and Recorder Meg Sybert, and Bond County Treasurer Colleen Camp held a well attended, informational public meeting on the process of generating a tax bill. The process is not a simple one and takes information from all three officials to create the final bill.
Bond County Supervisor of Assessments
“In 2020 the county board made a resolution to go to a quarter quad,” Shank stated. This means that every year one-quarter of the county is assessed, instead of the entire county being assessed all at once.
For the first part of the bill, Shank sends out a document called an assessment, showing what the value of your property is assessed at, and if it has changed at all. “Most of you here tonight have received a Bond County change of assessment notice, which tells you that your assessment has changed,” Shank stated. This is NOT your bill. This is only the first portion of the information that goes into creating the bill. The percentage of the assessment change on the paper is NOT how much your taxes are going up. Shank also mentioned that that there will be new assessments sent out without the local equalization factor.
The fair market value can be determined with one or more of the following methods according to the book “Bond County Real Estate Taxes 101,”
- Market data – similar, neighboring properties that have sold recently are compared to the property being assessed,
- Cost – the cost to reproduce (or rebuild) the property is calculated, an amount for deprecation (wear and tear, age) is subtracted and land value is added,
- Income – the present worth of the income from and Income Producing property is calculated by measuring the amount, quality, and durability of the future net income the property can be expected to return to an investor.
If you think that the assessment is incorrect, you can take these steps to look into it.
- Go to the assessor’s office and request to see your property tax card, this breaks down how your property is being taxed. You can talk with Shank and make sure the information such as measurements is correct.
- If you are still unhappy, fill out paperwork and go to the Board of Review. You do not have to have an attorney with you to do this.
- If you wish to appeal the matter further you may go to the State Board of Review, the Property Tax Appeal Board, or PTAB. It is important to note that even if you are going to the PTAB you are still responsible for paying your taxes.
- The fourth option is called payment under protest, meaning that you are wanting to courts to determine if the assessment is fair. You file for this in the Circuit Clerk’s office, with a filing fee of about $315. You will NOT be able to go to PTAB if you choose this option.
When the appeal process is over with the board of review, the final abstract will be prepared. “The final abstract is a breakdown of all of the assessed properties by classes and their collective values by townships,” Shank stated.
When it is ready it will be sent to Illinois Department of Revenue. They will then determine if Bond County is being assessed at 33% of the fair cash value.
Bond County Clerk and Recorder
“I have gotten levies from the taxing district, and I put all that together and sent that to the treasurer,” Sybert said.
Every taxing district (Bond County has 63) will levy a certain amount of money each year. When they make their budget they will see what their “shortfall” is the difference between the amount budgeted and the amount of money coming in. “Each Taxing District figures the amount of revenue they need to levy. Without holding a Truth In Taxation hearing, the levy amount is limited to less than a 5% increase over the prior year Property Tax Extended (amount collected from property taxes and paid to the taxing districts) for their corporate and special purpose accounts,” according to real estate taxes 101. If the increase is over 5% there must be a truth in taxation hearing held.
The county clerk will take the levy and divide them by assessed valuations with state equalization factor, exemptions, TIFs, and enterprise zone Abatements, to determine the tax rate. The tax rates are then checked to determine the certified tax rate against the max tax rate. “Once I get the levies and once I get the state equalization factor, apply any exemptions, TIF districts, any enterprise zone abatements, all of that, I calculate the tax rate and it is checked against the max rate,” Sybert stated.
Bond County Treasurer
The taxes are collected and will be distributed to the taxing districts by the treasurer’s office. “All the taxing districts have a certain boundary, land mass boundary, that they can tax in,” Camp stated, “they put their levies in it all gets computed out so each parcel has to be figured up with what taxing districts are located where you live, and that is why everybody’s tax bill is going to look a little different,” Camp continued.
Your assessment is what determines what portion of the total tax levy is going to come from you. On your tax bill will be listed all the taxing districts you are paying to, and how much you are paying them. “The state sends us that equalization factor, that multiplier, that is multiplied against this value to be equalized, to come up with a new state value, from that state value we will subtract any exemptions,” Camp explained. The taxable value will then be multiplied by the tax rate which is all the tax districts added together, this is where the actual amount you pay comes from.
You can make periodic payments on your taxes throughout the year, such as monthly or weekly payments. Talk to the treasurer’s office if you want to do this. It will show up on the bill as a prepayment. “Some people find it easier to make that payment once a month,” Camp stated. When it comes time to pay your taxes, the prepayments will be subtracted from the total bill.
The money collected from the payments will be distributed no later than 30 days after the first installment to the taxing districts. “The county only keeps only keeps what we levy,” Camp said, “the state does not get any property tax money, it stays local,” she continued.
If you want more information on the taxing process or would like to talk about your assessment or levies, Sybert, Shank, and Shank can be contacted at the following office numbers.
Meg Sybert —
Colleen Camp —
Georgia Shank —
Photo Credit Rebecca Sponsler