Kane County Year in Review: Why the Supervisor of Assessment's Office Had an All-Star 2016

Kane County Year in Review: Why the Supervisor of Assessment’s Office Had an All-Star 2016


Supervisor of Assessments Mark Armstrong is a big Cubs fan. In 2016, he had a chance to meet Kane County Cougars alumni and Cubs star Kyle Schwarber. He’s shown here with the “Schwarboard ball” that landed on the top of the Wrigley Field video scoreboard in the 2015 playoff game against St. Louis. (CREDIT: Photo courtesy of Mark Armstrong)

The Kane County Supervisor of Assessment’s Office’s mission is simple: an equitable assessment for every parcel in Kane County.

The office’s efforts are much more complex, of course, but they are among those essential functions of local government that are often taken for granted, not-too-well understood and maybe even underappreciated.

2016 review text on a napkin with a cup of coffee

Measuring the success of the office isn’t always easy, either, but by any standard, the office of Supervisor of Assessments Mark Armstrong had an all-star, Chicago-Cubs-worthy 2016.

Below are a few highlights. This past year, the Supervisor of Assessments Office:

Received an Equalization Factor of 1.0000 from the Illinois Department of Revenue

If you’re a supervisor of assessments, an equalization factor of 1.0000 is is a magic number. That numeral one, decimal point and four zeros indicate that the county’s assessed valuation is correct, and the office is running on all cylinders.

“This is essentially the ‘grade’ my office receives from the state of Illinois,” Armstrong said.

Another fairly impressive fun fact is that Kane County has achieved that 1.0000 factor every year going back to 1988.

Finished the 4-Year General Assessment 6 Weeks Earlier

The Supervisor of Assessments Office completed its General Assessment Year Certification six weeks earlier than it did four years ago — a record.

“This is important (because) late tax bills cost local governments at least $10,000 per day in interest charges,” Armstrong said.

The most recent assessment roll was certified on Feb. 2, 2016; that was the 2015 roll, which is for a general assessment year, when all parcels in the county must be viewed and valued. Only four years prior, it was March 15, 2012.

Eliminated a Bunch of Paper

Armstrong’s office migrated from a paper-based adjudication system to an electronic-based system.

“This provides for a more efficient Board of Review process, enabling us to complete the same workload with fewer Board of Review hearing officers in a quicker time,” Armstrong said.

More Work Done, On Time, Under Budget

Armstrong’s office completed a larger clerical workload on time and under budget. In 2012, the office processed 67,957 documents; by 2015, the number of documents was up to 76,723 documents — a 12.9 percent increase.

Expanded Taxpayer Outreach

In 2016, the Supervisor of Assessments Office offered easy-to-follow, step-by-step videos on how to file an assessment complaint. In the first three months, 1,819 people visited this page, and the webinar (or portions thereof) were viewed more than 1,500 times, a 275 percent increase over the peak year of in-person attendance in 2012.

SOURCE: Kane County Supervisor of Assessments Office