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Taxes May Go Up Despite Lower Property Values

Property tax assessment forms now in hands of homeowners

Editor’s Note—This is the first story in a two-part series about property taxes in Deerfield.

Though Deerfield property values have dropped in the last year real estate taxes may very well increase according to .

Healy is waiting for a deluge of phone calls, but so far the calls have been reasonably light. 

This is the time of year when the affable Assessor and his two- person staff are usually swamped with complaints since Township residents and businesses have just received their blue Property Tax Assessment notices from the Lake County Assessor’s office. 

Healy is one of 18 elected assessors in Lake County, one for each township. He said West Deerfield Township has the ninth highest number of property parcels in the county, so it keeps him and his two staff members busy year round. 

When asked about current trends, he said the number of local property sales has increased slightly and currently there seems to be more housing stability within the township. “Only time will tell if that will stick,” he said. 

He said the assessed value of township properties continues to fall, but when he receives all the tax rate filings from the various governmental entities such as libraries, schools districts, drainage, sanitary districts, the township and others listed on the tax installment forms who are now drafting their budgets for the coming year, taxes will probably be up again. 

Healy makes it clear that he has nothing to do with deciding on setting the property tax levels. His job is to simply to assess property within his jurisdiction on a fair and impartial neighborhood basis at one-third its market value (33.33%) over a three year period. He points out it is the various local governmental bodies that determine their own tax levels. School districts are traditionally by far the largest consumer of the public’s funds.

The Assessor’s job, Healy says, is to determine what each property taxpayers fair share should be of the overall combined tax burden. 

Healy said he assesses annually only the cash value of the township’s real property (real estate), both residential and commercial. Personal property used to be included but was dropped by the legislature in 1979. 

He said it’s a challenging job trying to fairly balance 12,000 property parcels in West Deerfield Township at 33.33 percent of fair market value equitably every year.

The township includes a small slice of western Highland Park, all of Deerfield, Bannockburn and Riverwoods, and the southwest portion of Lake Forest.

Jess Taylor November 09, 2011 at 01:46 AM
Find another way to pay for the schools and stop doing it on the backs of homeowners. Property taxes should be abolished. If you raise the sales tax 2% you can get rid of property taxes completely. Hugely archaic system that is built for corruption. What is fair market value anyway? What one person will pay another will not. Read Atty Quintilian's book on property taxes and go to www.propertytaxrights.com to get the real deal on this.
Marc Kreiter November 11, 2011 at 06:37 AM
is this a fair comment: the county assessor requires a calculator and little else. To the extent that any portion of the cost of education is federally mandated, have the Bush administration testify in every state where, as a function of our ridiculous foreign policy prerogatives, RE taxes have risen to pay for wars our elected officials cowered in the corner while we were fed Armeggedon scenarios day after day. on second thought, have Bush, Bush buddies and Bush's bellicose belly-to-the-bar "real" men sell their ranches, rancheros, and rifles to pay for an education most of these suckers will never finish or use. They'd be dead. I almost wish obama had been born in Kenya...last I heard they were still getting US aid.

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