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Deadline to appeal assessments near for Nunda, Dorr residents

Residents of two heavily populated townships don’t have much longer to appeal the assessments used to calculate property tax bills due next year.

The deadline is Tuesday for Nunda Township property owners, and Friday for owners in Dorr Township. The townships include all or significant parts of Woodstock, Crystal Lake, McHenry, Bull Valley, Prairie Grove, Oakwood Hills and Holiday Hills.

Property owners have 30 days to appeal from the day their township assessments are published. Assessments, or one-third of a property’s value, determine the owner’s share of taxing districts’ extensions for property tax bills due in 2013.

Assessment challenges are filed with the county and go before a board of review to determine whether, and by how much, assessments should be lowered. Call your township assessor or visit http://shawurl.com/ckf to learn more about how to file an appeal.

The number of assessment challenges has skyrocketed in recent years as property tax bills have increased despite significant drops in home values. McHenry County fielded 8,893 assessment appeals last year for this year’s property tax bills, up 51 percent from 2010. The 5,885 appeals filed that year were up 40 percent from 2009.

The rate of inflation for next year’s tax bills is 3 percent, which means that local taxing bodies can collect 3 percent more than they did on this year’s bills. The 3 percent increase is double the 1.5 percent rate of inflation allowed and billed on property taxes this year.

The tax cap, which is supposed to rein in local government by limiting their annual increases to the rate of inflation, helps government and hurts taxpayers when property values fall. When values decline, a possibility state lawmakers never considered, the tax cap works against taxpayers by guaranteeing that they can collect the inflationary increase if they choose to take it.

While some governments, such as the McHenry County Board and the city of Woodstock, intend to hold their levies steady and not collect the 3 percent increase, many other governments intend to collect it.

Assessments for some of the five remaining townships who have not yet published – Algonquin, Grafton, Marengo, Riley and Hebron – should publish later this month.

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