Property assessments up on average

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Monroe County property assessments for 2021, as published in this week’s issue of the Republic-Times, are up about 5 percent on average.

Monroe County Assessor Carl Wuertz said that when assessing property values of residences, homes are grouped into neighborhood categories which consider a home’s age, location and number of stories. 

Generally, assessments are based on one-third of the market value determined by a prior three-year sales study of homes in one’s neighborhood category and – if within the designated quadrant – a physical re-assessment of the property. 

For 2021 assessments, the three-year study was based on property sales from 2020, 2019 and 2018.

As Wuertz explained, it became common for homebuyers to pay a substantial amount more than the asking price for their new home in late 2020. 

Because the most recent assessments considered sales of similar homes just prior to that, Wuertz said this trend may have a small influence on 2021 assessments. 

Yet, if the market continues this trend in the coming years – as it did in 2021 – it will eventually “trickle through” to bear a greater influence on one’s assessment, Wuertz said. 

Monroe County Treasurer Kevin Koenigstein said taxpayers don’t need to fear entirely, though. He said property taxes may not see a large increase when one’s home value jumps substantially because the amount taxed is not a percentage of value. 

Each year, Wuertz rotates visiting parcels that have buildings within a designated quadrant to physically re-assess the property. The quadrant visited this year was composed of townships 10, 11, 12 and 13. 

Farmland is assessed differently, however. It does not undergo a prior three-year sales study or a physical reassessment. 

“Farmland is assessed based on its soil type, the productivity of the soil type and the use of its soil type,” Wuertz said. 

Based on abstracts Wuertz’s office just completed, there has been a 5 percent increase on average among all assessments. Wuertz said this is subject to change based on actions taken by the Monroe County Board of Review, but this percentage should not fluctuate by much. 

The review process begins with what Wuertz has previously dubbed “complaint season.” 

If taxpayers believe there is an error in their property assessment, they can bring concerns to the Board of Review using a complaint form found on the county’s website or assessor’s office. 

They have 30 days from publication of the assessments to do so.

The Board of Review is composed of three individuals not employed by the assessor’s office. 

Wuertz is asking that taxpayers pay special attention to the exemptions section on their assessment notice. 

“Check the back of the assessment notice to make sure you’re getting all you’re eligible for,” Wuertz said. 

Wuertz said he noticed this year some assessment notices were missing the “senior homestead exemption” even though they qualified for it. 

If one believes their assessment notice does not accurately reflect their exemptions, Wuertz said they should contact the assessor’s office directly at 618-939-8681 ext. 211. 

At the same time the Board of Review is reviewing complaints, Wuertz begins mailing tentative assessment abstracts to the Illinois Department of Revenue. The IDOR then issues a tentative multiplier based on these abstracts. 

The multiplier is a factor applied to taxes to balance rates across nearby counties. 

After the Board of Review renders decisions on complaints based on evidence, they mail altered abstracts to the IDOR so a final multiplier can be issued. 

Next, the county clerk’s office determines tax rates for individual taxing districts, and then the treasurer’s office determines how much each parcel owner will owe for the property tax cycle based on the assessed evaluation of their property. 

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