One of the Kane County Property Tax FAQ stories that got the most followup questions was the one that lists the levies for Kane County municipalities.
As you recall, we ran a series of six articles that more or less copied and pasted Q’s & A’s from the Frequently Asked Questions about the 2014 (payable 2015) Kane County Property Tax Bills document published annually online through the coordinated efforts of Kane County Supervisor of Assessments Mark Armstrong, Kane County Clerk John A. Cunningham and Kane County Treasurer David Rickert.
The latest question comes from Rosemary Ryba, treasurer for the village of Barrington Hills, who asked why Barrington Hills levy was shown to be 1.63 percent higher year over year, when Ryba said the village had kept the levy flat (or event lowered it) over the past four years.
I’m not a property tax expert, so I forwarded the question to Kane County Supervisor of Assessments Mark Armstrong, who is. (For more information, check out the Kane County Connects “Ask Mark” series or visit the “Ask Mark” pages of the supervisor of assessments website.)
Some of this is a little “Inside Baseball,” but here is Armstrong’s explanation of how the numbers in the FAQ chart are calculated.
The numbers I used are from the Tax Extension Detail Reports as published on the Kane County Clerk’s website. The term I use in the FAQ (“Extended Levy”) means the total amount of money from the taxing district that appeared on property tax bills in all counties (not just in Kane County); in the case of the village of Barrington Hills, it also has a levy in Cook, Lake, and McHenry counties).
In 2013, the total amount of property taxes extended for Barrington Hills was $6,365,848.90 (for detail, see http://www.co.kane.il.us/coc/Tax/TaxExtensionDetailReport2013.pdf#page=51).
In 2014, the total amount of property taxes extended for Barrington Hills was $6,469,865.98 (for detail, see http://www.co.kane.il.us/coc/Tax/2014Reports/TaxExtensionDetailReport.pdf#page=51)
So: Why the discrepancy, and why use the actual amount of taxed extended onto taxpayers instead of what the taxing district asked for? Because a levy request can vary widely from what a taxing district is actually seeking.
For example, let’s look at this year’s levy request from the village of Pingree Grove (for detail, see http://www.co.kane.il.us/coc/Tax/2014Reports/TaxExtensionDetailReport.pdf#page=66). The village asked for $700,767 in its levy request (presumably to capture the taxes from any new construction/annexation, which is not a known number at the time of levy adoption), but the actual taxes that went on tax bills was $316,084.47.
This begs the question of which number is more relevant:
- The number on a taxing district’s levy request which was NOT used in calculating taxes, or
- The number that represents the actual taxes paid by taxpayers and received by taxing districts?
This is Rick talking now:
So, the chart above shows the amount Barrington Hills requested actually went down 1.49 percent year over year, but actual taxes paid by taxpayers and received by taxing districts went up 1.63 percent. Armstrong said that’s for all of Barrington Hills, by the way, not just the smaller part of it that lies in Kane County.
As the previous article pointed out, it’s important to note that the municipality’s portion is a small percentage of your total property tax bill. On average, cities and villages in Kane County get less than 10 percent of the pie. The biggest slice, of course, goes to school districts.
I suspect the basic concern of elected officials and staff is that they want to make sure the reporting is correct. For residents of Barrington Hills, it is worthy of note that the village has done a very good job of holding the line on property taxes.
For More Information
- For questions about exemptions or appeals, call the County Assessment Office at 630-208-3818 or visit KaneCountyAssessments.org.
- For questions about how tax rates are developed, call the Kane County Clerk at (630) 232-5964 or visit KaneCountyClerk.org.
- For questions about tax bills or payments, call the Kane County Treasurer at (630) 232-3565 or visit KaneCountyTreasurer.org.
- FAQ page on the Kane County Clerk’s Office website
- Your Tax Bills Are Coming!
- Relevant Tax Statistics
- Top 10 Kane County Taxpayers
- Estimate of Average Property Tax Bill by Township
- Where Your Property Tax Money Goes, Where It Comes From
Tax Bill FAQ Series
- First in Series: Did My School District Hold Its Levy Flat?
- Second in Series: My Assessed Value Declined; Why Did My Tax Bill Go Up?
- Third in Series: What Will Happen If I Don’t Pay My Property Taxes?
- Fouth in Series: Which Cities/Villages Held Levies Flat? Which Didn’t?
- Fifth in Series: Is It Too Late to File an Assessment Complaint?
- Sixth in Series: ‘How Is My Property’s Assessment Determined?’ Plus 3 Final FAQs
- Some Clarification on Pingree Grove’s Tax Levy, Tax Rate and PTELL
- Today: A Quick Explanation of Barrington Hills Tax Levy