After several months of delays, the property tax bills for Monroe County are in the mail.
They should arrive in mailboxes later this week, though they were delayed once more by post offices being closed to honor the death of former President George H.W. Bush on Wednesday.
The county is collecting $58,480,180.22 this year. That represents a 4.53 percent increase from last year’s $55,945,193.
Monroe County Treasurer Kevin Koenigstein said that increase, like many others in the county, are because taxing bodies are requesting more funds.
“Everybody’s asking for more money,” he explained. “Schools have increased a small percentage, but it all adds up to another (approximately) $2.5 million.”
It is also important to note Monroe County was issued a multiplier of 1.0180 by the state.
Depending on where individuals live, the real estate taxes help fund local schools, roads, fire departments, municipal responsibilities, the operations of the county itself and more.
This year, the county is getting $7,159,019.11 of the property taxes. That is a 1.53 percent increase from the $7,050,797 it received last year.
Monroe County’s current total tax rate is .84236 percent. Last year it was .79102 percent.
The overall tax rates in Waterloo, Columbia, Valmeyer, Hecker, Maeystown and Fults were slightly down.
“Tax rates vary by districts,” Koenigstein noted. “Most of them are in the 6-7 percent range. It’s very consistent, although it’s getting closer to the 7 percent range.”
The first payments are due Jan. 16, and the second installment is due Feb. 20.
Property tax bills can be paid at local banks, by mail or online through the state’s E-Pay system.
That can be accessed by going to monroecountyil.gov/departments/treasurers-office/tax-payments and clicking on the Illinois E-Pay website link under online payments.
“I recommend people pay at their local bank here in Monroe County or Red Bud,” Koenigstein said.
Property taxes may also be paid early.
Michael Braun of Braun Accounting & Tax Service wrote last week in the Republic-Times that citizens may want to pay early on business or investment property, but the issue becomes more complicated at the federal and state levels.
Government bodies such as local school districts have not yet received any money due to the late assessments, but as soon as payments start coming in they will begin receiving funds.
Koenigstein said he could not recommend that everyone should pay early.
“I’m not their tax preparer,” he said. “There’s reasons to (pay early) and reasons not to.”
He said about 400 people have paid early, totalling approximately $1.4 million in early payments so far.
For more information on property tax bills, call the Monroe County Treasurer’s office at 969-8681, ext. 213.