Assessment concerns expressed - Republic-Times | News

Assessment concerns expressed

By on June 13, 2018 at 2:39 pm

Monroe County Board Chairman Bob Elmore expressed concerns about the delay in this year’s property assessment process. 

Elmore voiced his concerns publicly during a county zoning board meeting Thursday night, according to those familiar with the meeting. 

When asked for official comment on the matter, Elmore said:

“I expressed my strong concern with the failure of the assessor’s office to get tax assessments out in a timely manner once again this year. The process calls for reviews at the local and state levels, followed by action by the treasurer’s office, before tax bills can even be mailed out. Then people have 30 days before the  first installment is due, with another 30 days before the second installment must be paid.

“At this point, it will be early Christmas before the second installment is due. In the meantime, schools will reopen in a couple more months and other functions, such as road districts, must continue to carry out their duties for our citizens countywide. This includes our municipalities, which will also have to wait on their property taxes.  This, in turn, causes us to have to reach into reserves, losing interest and negating the very security we gain from having those reserves.

“The tax year and fiscal year simply must match better.” 

Monroe County Treasurer Kevin Koenigstein reiterated Elmore’s timing concerns.

“Our office will have a hard time getting the tax bills out before October, with first installments due in mid-November and the second due just before Christmas,” Koenigstein said. “It also puts our school districts in a position to have to needlessly borrow money to open their doors this fall.”

The Republic-Times will publish the entire tax assessment listing for the county as soon as it is received.  

Assessments are based on median property sales recorded in Monroe County over a three-year period.

There will be a 30-day period for citizens to lodge formal complaints about their tax assessments. 

Once the appeals process is completed, the Illinois Department of Revenue establishes a tentative and then final multiplier, which is a factor applied to taxes to balance rates across adjoining counties.

Elmore said he met with Monroe County Assessor Carl Wuertz directly to discuss the matter on Monday. 

Following this sit-down meeting, Elmore told the Republic-Times the county plans to identify and hire an assistant assessor to help with next year’s assessments. Elmore went on to tell the R-T that next year’s assessments should be completed in the month of February.

Wuertz confirmed the discussion with Elmore on Monday, but declined to comment further on the matter.

“We had a long talk Monday morning,” Wuertz said. “I’ll let those comments be.”

Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.