I’m writing to find out if you know of any local groups who might be organizing a fight against the property tax rates in this area that have been rising since I moved here six years ago.
I’m in Boone County, and from what I understand, rates are even higher in Rockford. I’m aware of law firms that handle personal appeals. I just contracted with one, but I don’t have much hope after speaking with the attorney.
The problem I see coming is if the multipliers stay at the levels they have just been raised to or get raised even higher, we are heading down a path of real estate Armageddon. With artificially low mortgage rates, I wonder how many people are looking ahead five to 10 years when housing prices rise, demand increases, assessed valuations go up, and suddenly their taxes are 20 to 30 percent more than they are now.
Smart buyers will be looking at tax rates first and the cost of the house second. As interest rates rise and mortgages become more expensive, who will want to live here if things continue this way? If small/rural municipalities keep taking the easy way out and taxing the homeowners to solve all their problems, they will destroy the tax base by driving people away.
You don’t have to be a Rhodes Scholar to see where this is headed. I do believe this is happening all over the country, but our leaders need to start getting creative about the way they solve fiscal problems. Unfortunately, I don’t see any creative thinking concerning new ways to generate revenue. I have heard a lot of complaints about this issue, but I haven’t heard anyone looking ahead at where this could take us. People seem fixated on “now.” I’m concerned about the future damage these short-term fixes will cause. Any ideas?
Thanks, and keep up the good work at The Rock River Times.
Boone County resident
Editor’s note: I think it is a fine idea to ask our readers what their ideas are for providing revenue to government entities besides taxation and competition with the private sector. Boone County publishes property tax assessment every October, call 815-544-2958 in September for the exact date. Property owners have only 30 days after that October publication to appeal any changes. Watch the pages of the Belvidere Daily Republican or visit www.boonecountyil.org. When you receive your tax bill in May, it will be too late to protest; you have to make your appeal within 30 days after the previous October assessment publication date. Hope this helps, and that you find like-minded folks interested in organizing to fight tax rates. — F.S.
From the July 11-17, 2012, issue