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Kendall County Property Tax Revolt

Are your property taxes killing you? Help fight back!

Did you know that Kendall County is the 24th highest property taxed county (out of over 3000) in the nation? Did you know that most counties on the East Coast are lower than Kendall County? Did you know there isn't even one county in California that is higher than we are? If that doesn't frost your cookies - I'm not sure what will!

Illinois is the 7th highest property taxed state in the union and Kendall County is the 24th highest taxed county in the entire United States. (See this document on the Tax Foundation's website for county rankings based on a three-year average of owner-occupied housing taxes from 2007-2009. See this article on 24/7 Wall St. Wire for the state rankings.)

Can we stop this and reverse it? Make 2012 the year we begin! Let's begin educating taxpayers on property taxes.

Our first event is June 1, 2012 from 12:00 pm until 8:00 pm in . Join us for 15 minutes or for the entire day. We will be handing out information to help you prepare to protest your property taxes.

It is time you help yourself and your fellow neighbors fight to keep your hard-earned money. You are not alone. Together, we can reverse this trend.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Mark A Johnson May 15, 2012 at 03:05 PM
For those wanting to know about June 1st. Venting and signs are welcome. Sign-up sheets will be available for anyone wanting to work on the property tax issues before us after June 1st. This is being planned for this length of time to allow as many people to attend as wants to. There are many people with ideas to help but just need a focus point to come up with a valid plan. Hopefully this begins the conversation. Handouts will be made available to help people prepare for this fall's assessment letter. I will post some of the comments/blame in my next comment. I am not finding all/any of these to be the reason nor do I agree with all/any of these. I put them out here as a "brainstorming" mission to capture as much as possible before June 1st. Please "Don't shoot the messenger!!!" ; - )
Mark A Johnson May 15, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Join the Property Tax Revolt. Property taxes are killing the American dream of home ownership. Some of the reasons/blame is listed below. Let’s begin a conversation and work towards a solution. Join us in this venture. • Schools are +60% of the property tax bill • Property taxes are paid in escrow so many taxpayers believe their mortgage and taxes are one and the same • The Assessor’s are to blame • The County is to blame • The cities are to blame • Property taxes are killing home sales • The real culprit here is the “Tax Levy” which forces the higher taxes • We have legal obligations to pay for school referendums and bond issues • We need economic development/new businesses to help offset higher property taxes • We can’t cut education • The high growth over the last 10 years is the reason for high taxes • The high rate of foreclosures is causing the higher taxes • My neighbor who protested his taxes and won is why I have to pay more • We need a comprehensive economic plan • Government pensions are to fault for high taxes • Government healthcare is to fault for high taxes • The size of government is the reason • High density and cheap housing is to blame • Property taxes are a 3-year average so high values take a few years to be reduced to actual. Who hasn’t heard this? Now the valuations are down but the taxes are up because there are less of us sharing the burden. Always another reason from our elected officials
Mark A Johnson May 15, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Join the Property Tax Revolt. Property taxes are killing the American dream of home ownership. Some of the reasons/blame is listed below. Let’s begin a conversation and work towards a solution. Join us in this venture. • We have too many police and firemen now • The court house, police stations, fire houses, city halls all look like Taj Mahals. Is this excessive? • Do we really need all the SWAT & Homeland Security trucks and equipment? • The parks and bike paths are killing the taxpayers • Pay structure of public employees is the reason for high property taxes • Unions are the problem • Corporations are the problem • The welfare people are the problem • The rich people are the problem • The Democrats are the reason • The Republicans are the reason • The school board is the problem • A corrupt and inept system of government in Illinois
Mark A Johnson May 15, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Which of these bullets are true? Join us June 1st and let's build on these, work together, and find some solutions.
M Rine May 15, 2012 at 06:00 PM
We will be there. We are hurting like everyone else and the high taxes could force us to sell our home. How much did that new Oswego Village Hall cost us? Anyone see how many employee cars are in the parking lot on any given day? We joked about selling our house, buying rv and camping out in the parking lot!
Scratch on Patch May 15, 2012 at 11:23 PM
Great info. Now I just need $98 to file. ; )
Scott Harmon May 16, 2012 at 01:41 AM
Just take out a home equity line of credit from Chase. They won't care if you actually have any equity and they like risky transactions.
Kevman10 May 16, 2012 at 04:05 AM
I can't read all of the posts on here since I don't have the time right now. But, I can tell you my property taxes have gone up $1200 over the last 2 years. I paid $245k for my house 4 yrs ago. In the interim, I've got 4 houses around me in foreclosure one of which was sold that had a much bigger lot with finished basement and fenced for $178k, another one similar to mine listed at $150k and 2 others that have more upgrades than mine "listed" around $180k. They valued my house out at $215k. How the hell does that happen? This county and village is an absolute joke. But guess what?!? I have no option to but to stay in my house because I'm under water and if I do sell I'd get much much less than what the county has valued my house at. Only other option down the line would be to walk away as so many others have had to do just because of the taxes. Ridiculous...
Brandy Kalsto May 16, 2012 at 10:16 AM
We will be there and I have been spreading the word! Excellent work Mark!
JasonH May 16, 2012 at 01:56 PM
The school district has been running surpluses as well. From a previous Patch article they projected over a $1MM surplus for this school year and had a $5.22MM surplus from the previous year. http://yorkville.patch.com/articles/district-115-school-board-reviews-surplus-budget Now they just negotiated to give it all away to the teachers union.
Rennetta May 17, 2012 at 02:50 AM
I hope that all this will also encourage taxpayers to learn more about current laws affecting them. By-in-large most people still mistakenly believe that their individual property tax bill is going to be “capped.” It isn’t. PTELL (Property Tax Extension Limitation Law) places limits on each non-home rule taxing district/body. While I believe in our individual responsibility to make ourselves informed; I also see an issue regarding the failure of taxing bodies, especially those looking to sell bonds, to fully remind property owners that EVERY taxing body listed on their property tax bill is able to increase their levy by the statutory minimum. Another issue, the failure to thoroughly clarify and explain that even if the taxing body is subject to PTELL (commonly called the taxcap) money collected for SSAs and/or the repayment of bonds (debt service) are NOT “taxcapped” funds. So a larger district, such as U308 approves a budget, etc and later submits a levy in accordance with Truth in Taxation laws. A “levy” is their request for monies by fund, which were deemed necessary during the budget process, to maintain & operate the district. When these funds are added together the total increase is limited to the 5% or CPI, whichever is less. These are referred to as the capped funds.
Rennetta May 17, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Cont. The amount needed for the bond fund, an uncapped fund, is then computed and added to the total for the capped funds. This combined total is what creates the total rate & total extension amount for that district. Much to my surprise a few years ago voters in U308 voted in favor of placing a behemoth bond issue on the backs of property owners. The Administration and/or BOE had apparently advertised some non-binding promises about holding the overall tax rate at 5.06 by reducing the amount collected for bond payments and of course with the declining economy that had to fall to the wayside. For years I’ve suggested people consider bond issues with the same cautious attitude they would use if they were asked to approve a tax rate increase. The back-up plan for every type of bond I’ve seen is always the tax-payer. And for the record, guess who pays for bonds sold to develop TIF districts.
Scott Harmon May 17, 2012 at 12:11 PM
Just heard on wbbm newsradio that foreclosures are down nationwide from last year, but in Illinois they are up 26%. I wonder why. The mass exodus? Higher taxes? Aggressive government? Over-assessed residential parcels? Property tax rates increasing at a pace far exceeding inflation? Debt shift from developers and government to the tax payers? 67% increase in state income tax rate? 106% increase in city property tax rate? The highest sales tax rates? Our retired neighbor walked away from his house to raise his monthly cash flow by $2,000. His new property tax bill in North Carolina for his new house on 1 acre is $425 a year. Many people are making choices to leave due to the money grab made by our government. Unless this non-sense stops the pattern will continue.
Greg O'Neil May 17, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Rennetta, Thank you for the great insight on how PTELL actually works, you're right about the U308 promise to keep taxes at 5.06 being non-binding. They did not do it and offered no apology or explanation. Two years later and they are at 6.66 and heading for 10.00 even if we do not pass another bonding issue. This will create a mass exodus from Kendall county the like of which have never been seen anywhere in this country. Think your property values are down now, just wait and see what happens over the next few years. I predict the only solution will be to dissolve U308 entirely and default on the debt.
Greg O'Neil May 18, 2012 at 12:16 PM
Sorry I didn't see your post sooner Walt. This Company does both corporate and residential tax work, they take 40% of the first years tax savings for their fee, no money required up front. There must be a fair amount of evidence that you are over assessed or they will not take your case. They represented an entire sub-division in S. Kendall County. Remember, of course you are being over taxed, but you may or may not be over assessed. Good luck and I really hope you can get some relief. I hope to see you at the Taxpayer Revolt on June 1. 5
Greg O'Neil May 18, 2012 at 12:18 PM
The name is Barron Corporate Tax Solutions Todd Barron 630-942-8100
sarah b.w.t. May 18, 2012 at 10:02 PM
LIKE this idea - the community coming together to be educated and take whatever action possible to alleviate the burden. Appreciate the actionable suggestions we can all take. Taxes are clearly out of control; let's learn together what we can DO about it. Thanks Mark A and others!
ayar May 19, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Cook County managed to pull off a tax cap with their county clerk, how do we ? if the tax is "locked" at it's current rate and goes up no further, money will have to be controlled more carefully - in other words, giving them an "allowance" that can't be broken without a majority taxpayer vote.
mike ellison May 24, 2012 at 11:23 PM
For anyone who's interested, the last county assessor (David E. Thompson) actually lost his real estate appraiser's license (technincally- refused to renew). The County Board never disclosed this to the public. So the top person in the county was found to have been developing bad appraisals. Oswego Assessor, David Maher, also runs a private appraisal practice. I'll leave it up to you to determine whether or not he is running his business out of the Assessor's office. And if you had your house privately appraised by Mr. Maher in Kendall County then you have to question who is loyatly is to. If he finds out information about your house during a 'private' appraisal then does he get to change the data at the Assessor's office, or does he ignore it and rip off the taxpayers? Can't serve two masters. I'm extremely familiar with what is going on in Kendall County and the actual employees administering the process would be the best place to start investigating.
Bret June 02, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Thank you. Mark
Laura Bee June 11, 2012 at 02:05 PM
I just stumbled upon this. How was the gathering? I own 6 homes in Lakewood Springs in Plano. I'm drowning in taxes! Help!!!
Mark A Johnson June 11, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Laura, Email me at kendallcounty@gmail.com and I'll get you on the exploding email group! Mark
Jillian Duchnowski July 10, 2012 at 03:50 PM
If you are interested in learning more about what the county is doing to promote economic development and diversifying the tax base, check out this article: http://patch.com/A-vSR2
Jillian Duchnowski July 16, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Those of you concerned about government spending might find a project from the Illinois Policy Institute interesting. They're asking residents to send them specific examples of wasteful government spending: http://illin.is/MmWbMb
Jordan Filice August 10, 2012 at 01:00 PM
Out of curiosity, has anyone here ever tried sites such as "valueappeal.com" to appeal their property taxes? Given all the work that's involved in appealing, this site advertises a $95.00 fee that is refundable if the appeal is denied. I was wondering if anyone had any experience with sites like this and how successful (or not) they may have been?
Mark A Johnson August 10, 2012 at 01:42 PM
@ Jordan - We have been trying to get someone to do exactly what this website is saying they do but we have nobody interested in doing Kendall County. If anyone wants to contact me about doing others' appeals for them please let me know. I put my property address into this site and it said they don't currently service but are working on it...
Got duped September 01, 2012 at 01:18 PM
Does anyone (Mark Johnson maybe?:) want to let us know the outcome of their property tax appeals. I personally got screwed by the Bristol Township assessor, Raymond Warclaw, because I advised my neighborhood to contact him to discuss how he determined his assessed value!! I thought it was funny how there was no exact science to any of his answers. Anyways, majority of my neighbors appealed and received huge reductions but of course mine only went down $4k in assessed value!! Go figure... I am currently waiting to hear back from State Appeal board which will probably take another year!! So I will be stuck paying almost $10k in property taxes for a home that is only worth $220k on a good month!! BTW, did everyone enjoy the 10% tax rate this year?!! Wonder what it will be next year, I'm thinking 12%
Got duped September 01, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Almost forgot, I found it very disturbing that Raymond Warclaw was on VACATION almost right after the reassessments were mailed. During the 30 days in which you had to obtain information (comps) from his office to help file your appeal, he was gone for 2 weeks during that time! So if you had a question it couldn't be answered because his underlings did not have the authority or the knowledge!! Pretty slick
Ronan September 01, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Is it too late this year for me to get the ball rolling on fighting the assessment ? What are my first steps?
Got duped September 01, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Ronan, it is too late for this year but when you get next years tax bill in the mail or a reassessment letter you have 30 days from the date it was postmarked to file a dispute. Go to the kendall county website for the process.

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