by: Diane Benjamin
A local group is trying to talk you into a 1/4% Sales Tax to build a Community Center, run by the YMCA, and soccer fields west of town. There is a lot to this story that I’m not ready to report, but below is a part you should see.
Everybody has the ability to look up the assessed value of properties on the County website: http://webapp.mcleancountyil.gov/webapps/Tax/TaxParcelInfo.aspx
The parcel number where this group wants to build the Community Center is 21-09-452-002. Currently, Great Escape is renting the building. Building of the Community Center would mean remodeling and adding on to the existing building.
If you looked at your property on the Assessor’s site, the REAL value of your property would be the assessed value multiplied by 3.33.
Here is what the Great Escape property assessment history shows:
So, in 2003 the property was worth: $1,176,284 times 3.33 = $3,917,026
By 2012 is was only worth: $517,377 times 3.33 = $1,722,865! That is a more than 50% drop in 10 years.
Also note, it was mostly a consistent drop, it doesn’t look like the real estate market crash had much of an impact. In fact, the property has continued to decline in value during “the recovery”.
I sent a Freedom of Information Act request to the County Assessor for an explanation. The first response I received was:
This letter is in response to your recent FOIA request regarding the value on parcel 21-09-452-002. In 2005 the assessed value went from $946,287 to $636,557 due to a taxpayer complaint filed with the board of review. The reason for the change was “revalued for uniformity” and was not a market reduction.
I responded with this:
That doesn’t explain why the property went from $1,176,284 in 2003 to $517,377 in 2012.
The final response was this:
Apparently there was also a taxpayer complaint filed in 2003, changing the value from $1,176,284 to $909,367. The same reason for change of uniformity was given.
My question was obviously not answered. Can an average citizen get their assessed value reduced like this? Or, must you have connections?
More when I feel like it.