This is part 2 of a series with Rockford Area REALTORS®.
By Jimsi Kuborn, Vice President of Investor Relations, Rockford Area Economic Development Council (RAEDC)
This is a year-long series on property taxes to compliment the RAEDC Leadership Council’s EAV/Mill Rate team. The team’s goal is educating our region on the challenges our community faces with regard to low/dropping Equalized Assessed Value. The RAEDC EAV/Mill Rate team is working to present possible solutions for leaders and residents to prioritize and take action. This work is to be a preliminary step in the process of improving the property value/tax situation (and future investment) in our region.
In the previous article as part of the efforts to educate how property tax bill are calculated, we discussed the assessed value portion of the math equation above showing how a home is assessed. Today’s article is the other half of that equation, the levies that feed into the Mill Rate/Tax Rate.
A tax levy is the amount of money a taxing body budgets to cover their mandated service that needs to be raised from real estate taxes for that year. There is a process that is used by each taxing body (including a time for individuals and businesses to ask questions about the budgets/levy during the each taxing body’s budgeting process) and when this is complete the levy is transmitted to the Winnebago County Clerk.
As briefly touched upon in the last article, the tax rate is the total of all levies (money’s needed/budgets) for all taxing bodies divided by the total assessed value of the county for all owned properties. For reference purposes; the Mill Rate for 2015, payable in 2016 for Tax Code 001 (primarily consisting of the City of Rockford) is 15.29 and is directly related to the assessed value of the county’s properties within that tax code. This year’s Mill Rate increase has been the smallest since 2008 and all rates are available via Winnebago County.
The goal is to have the Mill Rate come down; it would be ideal to get below 15.0 for 2016, payable in 2017. To affect the Mill Rate positively, we need to continue to have more businesses coming into our region, home values need to continue to grow (as a trend that has been recently reported by Winnebago County and Rockford Area REALTORS ®) and as the property values do grow, decrease the number of property owners protesting the values of their properties in hopes to decrease their overall tax bill. Additionally on protests, Winnebago County Board of Review and State Property Tax Appeal Board (PTAB) need to resolve protests issues quickly and with the economic health and proper comparables in mind. On the rate side of the equation, the taxing bodies need to be cognizant and fiscally responsible, including holding levies. With all of these factors in mind, the amount of our tax base will increase and if taxing bodies continue to be fiscally responsible; the overall affect will be holding and eventually decreasing the rate and tax bills.
Recent Related Rockford Register Star Article