Assessments up slightly overall

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Property tax assessments for Monroe County have been announced, and a complete list appears exclusively in this week’s issue of the Republic-Times newspaper.

Letters of assessment will also go in the mail today (Wednesday).

These assessments are based on the median of property sales recorded in Monroe County for the years 2011, 2012 and 2013, and total $857,077,606 for this past year.

This represents a slight increase over last year of some $6,337,539.

Monroe County Assessor Carl Wuertz said most of the county experienced a slight decrease in assessed values, but sales in Waterloo generated much of the boost for this year.

The figure will be reduced by $89,066,704 due to adjustments for owner occupancy, senior freezes and disabled military deductions, Wuertz also noted. Other as yet undetermined reductions may also occur from individual requests to the Monroe County Board of Appeals by citizens who believe their assessments were made in error or are unfair.

Any citizen who feels there assessment is wrong has 30 days from Feb. 25 to file an appeal on the first floor of the courthouse. After that, final tax bills will be calculated, incorporating the state’s final multiplier, and mailed.

To contact the assessor’s office, call 939-8681, ext. 211.

In other county business, the Monroe County Board met last Tuesday at the courthouse.

Commissioners approved an agreement to lease space to the University of Illinois Extension Service in the Monroe County Annex Building and in the courthouse basement for another year at the existing annual rate of $32,112. The U of I Extension program supports commercial agriculture, family life, community and economic development and youth programs such as 4-H.

Monroe County Highway Engineer Aaron Metzger presented three resolutions setting forth low bids for aggregate (crushed stone) materials.  The materials will be procured from various sources that best serve needs, and winning bids were judged on combinations of material cost per ton and locations where they would be picked up and used.

Metzger announced that bids will be solicited for asphalt materials soon, and will be presented to the board for approval on March 16.

He also received approval of payment of bills associated with the courthouse emergency generator installation.

Concerning the generator, it was noted that there is a delay between loss of regular electrical service and the generator starting and taking over. This delay causes computer equipment to shut down. It was decided that advice to prevent damage to computers or loss of data would be sought.

Oak Hill director Kim Keckritz updated commissioners on operations, noting that the total census was down slightly in the last month, but that Medicare census was up.

She said that a new report by U.S. News and World Report lists Oak Hill as one of the best such facilities nationwide. Keckritz cautioned that rules for another rating, from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, are changing this year, and many facilities are very concerned that they may lose five-star ratings such as Oak Hill has earned in recent years.

The commissioners will meet in regular session on Monday, March 2, in the courthouse board room on the second floor.

Meetings are open to public attendance and questions and comment.

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