A message from the Belvidere Township Assessor, Tamara Torrance…..
Our assessors are currently assisting taxpayers with the appeals process and preparing for the Board of Review. Here in Belvidere Township we made extensive changes to land valuation, based on the evidence provided by available land sales. In most cases the value of residential land went down with the exception of a few subdivisions where the sales supported an increase in value or no reduction. Additional land sales that occur in 2016 are being merged into the current sales studies. The studies reflect the most current market and will be utilized to determine the values in 2017.
After the land values were revised the overall property values were adjusted to the market. Realistic sales studies were created that accurately reflect the real estate market in Belvidere Township.
This is the second year our level of assessments fell below the market values. Last year Belvidere Township’s overall valuation increased by less than one percent. This year our three year median level of assessments was 0.3166 which means that we were required by the Illinois Department of Revenue to raise our overall value approximately 5.27%. This is the most substantial increase the market has demonstrated since the values started to decline in 2009. Property owners have seen the value of their properties decline each year since 2009 and assumed their tax bill would also decrease, but that was not the case in many instances. The rising values of real estate in Belvidere Township and Boone County in actuality is a good thing. It means property owners are now acquiring equity that was lost and the tax rates should stop rising. Historically when the equalized assessed value (EAV) increases, the tax rates decrease. When the EAV decreases the tax rates rise.
The value of real estate is affected by primary economic forces that include employment, tax rates, labor supply and credit terms and financing. Supply and demand also cause the value of property to increase or decrease. The market is constantly changing and varies from one location to another. My staff and I examine all sales that are recorded in our jurisdiction annually and revise our sales study analysis accordingly. The present year’s sales are incorporated into the studies while the fourth year’s sales are removed. In this way we track the most current market and in turn assign the most accurate value to the properties in our jurisdiction.
We were also able to visit and inspect approximately 1100 parcels this year as part of our quadrennial reassessment [see (35 ILCS 200/9-155) of the Illinois Property Tax code http://www.revenue.state.il.us/LocalGovernment/PropertyTax/
We inspected 162 properties for the purpose of checking residential building permits for additional improvements, and 16 permits in our Township for new residential construction. There were 8 commercial and 5 Industrial permits checked.
To insure that our values are accurate and in compliance with the tax code, we will be inspecting all parcels in the Township. We will be continuing this work in the coming months.