August 2011
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What do you think of your property assessment?

According to Peoria County, the value of my house has gone up. But I have friends, relatives, and neighbors whose home values have gone down. According to Supervisor of Assessments Dave Ryan, the County is expecting the equalized assessed value of all property in the County to go down by 1.5%. He doesn’t have a firm figure because there will be many people who will contest their valuations in the next few months, and that will affect the final percentage.

Some people I’ve talked to — even those who have seen their home values rise — feel that the process has been fair and reasonable. Others think it’s ridiculous to think anyone’s home value has gone up given the weak economy and the decline of the housing market starting in late 2006 nationally.

What do you think?

39 comments to What do you think of your property assessment?

  • UnclePugsly

    Everyone’s valuation on my street went DOWN exactly 1.5% – The first time EVER valuations did not go up.

  • Eye in the Sky

    Mine is down 13.48%

  • Marc

    The process is bent. Forclosures and estate sales are excluded from their data because they are not at will sales by their definition. Does that make sense when 1 in 10 homes is in foreclosure and it is so rampantly prevalent – I think not. Especially considering people intentionally let their homes fall into foreclosure because they decide the home is no longer worth the owed values. During the two years when many buyers were receiving tax credits to buy homes there was also no compensating adjustment to the value estimates. My valuation went down a few percent but the process sickens me.

  • UnclePugsly

    Marc, If foreclosures are left out that would definately inflate valuations above market given the high number of foreclosures.

    Aside from the valuations, the biggest problem is the number of taxing bodies leaching off of property owners. It appears for 2011, every out-bound ticket leaving PIA is subsidized by Peoria Co property owners on average by $32. Why? Other communities require passenger fees to largely cover operating and capital costs. Another one is the Dunlap library fee – In the age of kids having iPhones and PC’s at school, am I required to pay $100’s in yearly taxes for a library I can’t even tell you how to get to. And the list goes on. This is the REAL problem, not valuations being off by $5k – $10k.

  • “In the age of kids having iPhones and PC’s at school, why am I required to pay $100?s in yearly taxes for a library I can’t even tell you how to get to.”

    …. there is a certain irony in that statement.

  • Gwen

    I live just north of Glen St. My assessment went up. Now my 150,000 house is worth 193,000. I would be lucky to get 150,000 in this economy. It is straight BS. They are pushing the real taxpayers in this city out. Congrats Peoria you have almost pushed this former southender and current north Peoria resident to my limit. A fool I am not!

  • Radwalker

    Well mine went up 21 percent. I guess I was expecting an increase, just not that high!

  • I haven’t seen the actual numbers, but I can tell you this. I bought my house in 1990 for $35,000. Thanks to the City of Peoria declaring my area to be “blighted”, the homes around me are all selling at around $30,000 at the current market value. A few years ago, I decided to check to see what kind of offers I could get. The best offer, which I decided not to take, was $55,000. So, in the span of 3 1/2 years, the City of Peoria has cost me $25,000, not to mention the interest on my home loan, and the improvements I have made on my property (siding, roof, windows, AC, Furnace, etc.). When I get the assessment, I guarantee you I will be contesting it. I’m still looking for the precedent to sue. Starting with the realty agency who failed to disclose the number of rental properties in my area when I bought the house.

  • mazr

    Ours was down 3%

  • checking for details

    decreased by %11.84—gotta love crime and unconcerned landlords and the lovely tennants attracted to the slums they create.

  • erin

    Mine dropped 6%. Kind of surprised it wasn’t lower.

  • big-n-italian

    “Starting with the realty agency who failed to disclose the number of rental properties in my area when I bought the house.”

    hate to burst your bubble Fred, but you got no case. a R/E agent cant/wont tell you everything, (some things cant be disclosed by law), and you have to do some of your own homework before buying a house.

    as far as assessments go, a LARGE number of people are currently over assessed in all counties. i know, im an appraiser and see it everyday. most people just eat it because they either dont have the time to fight it, or, they dont know how to fight it. every county makes it difficult for you to fight your assessment by quietly disclosing the process to fight back, and the limited time period when to participate in the process. in a few areas i have found the assessment values actually going down, but they are not the norm.

  • Joe61571

    Well, CJ, we could drop everyone’s assessment by 20%. Then, what would happen?

    The various taxing bodies would just increase their Tax Rates by 25%, or more..( 80 + .25(80) = 80 + 20 = 100).

    Basically, your tax bill would be the same, but probably more. Most taxing bodies ask for more money each year.

    My point is that the assessment is part of the calculation, but the most important part is: How many $ do your local taxing bodies ask for?

  • Idiots all around

    Joe that makes about as much sense as when District 150 told us that less time in school for kids was better. Idiots.

  • Taxedtoomuch

    Any Realtor will tell you that a large percentage of properties are over-assessed. The 1.5% decrease in assessed valuations will not even scratch the surface. In fact, if, say a college class did a spreadsheet on actual sale prices of recently sold Peoria County properties in relation to assessed valuation at time of closing, I bet we could have a class action law-suit on our hands. Best way to stop it is for everyone who sells a property for less than their assessed valuation should calculate their over-payment and send the county a bill for the difference, with interest. Be sure to CC the Journal Star, the State Appeals Board and the Attorney Generals office.

  • Mahkno

    Idiots all around,

    Joe is correct.

  • Mahkno


    Property assessments look back 3 years (2008,2009,2010). What the assessed value at closing is, is irrelevant to the year of the closing.

  • bob

    I paid $220,000 for my house 5 years ago, at the time it was assessed at $430,000. I fought that assessment and had it lowered. Today the home would sell for not more than $170,000 and I am not sure I could even get that based on what nearby property has been selling for. My assessment just went up to $240,000.

    My guess is that the people who are happy with their assessment have no real clue as to what their home is REALLY worth. The woman who I purchased my home from was convinced it was worth $430,000 even after it set on the market for years.

  • Marc

    I watched a nearby home sit for sale for a couple years before it finally sold through foreclosure, so I’m annoyed. It is conveinant that foreclosures aren’t considered at will sales, so a home’s inability to sell and its sale price at eventual foreclosure is not a valid comparision for contesting my taxes; nor does it factor into the area’s valuation data. Furthermore without a trip downtown you cannot find out if a home that has sold was through foreclosure or ‘at-will’, so your ability to identify valid comparisions to your own property is hindered. Unless someone here can englighten me to what I do not know I’m happy to learn.

  • Martin Palmer

    With the EVA lowering, the East village TIF should not get any cash for some time. Guess OSF will have to wait for there refund on the study?

  • Frustrated

    So Bob – was it difficult to get your assessment lowered based on the purchase price? I am house shopping and many of the homes I am looking at are listed at a price considerably less than the assessed value. I am assuming a recent purchase price is the best indicator of the market value of the house to protest the accuracy of an assessment??? Did you have present a lot more data other than your sales documents in order to get your assessment reduced?

  • Paul O'Donnell

    Where are property taxes fair and what did taxpayers do to achieve that fairness without protesting the assessment? I don’t think that place exists.

  • Karrie E. Alms

    Marty: Ha ha …. probably not … COP will probably roll any available TIF funds from one TIF to an adjacent TIF to the next adjacent TIF until there are enough TIF funds to reimburse OSF. You know that the COP is always thinking out of the box to help those entities whom the COP wants to help.

    Marc and Frustrated:

    This link might be helpful to better understand the process….

    Peoria County, IL
    Supervisor of Assessments: BOR Assessment Complaints
    The process is outlined at this link.

    SUGGESTION: It is strongly recommended that the taxpayer discuss his/her assessment with the Township Assessor prior to the filing of a complaint with the Board of Review. If, after talking with the township assessor, the taxpayer still wishes to pursue a formal complaint, he/she needs to familiarize themselves with the Rules governing hearings before the Peoria County Board of Review. However, the 30 day time limit for filing from the date of publication will not be changed to allow for discussing the assessment with the township assessor.

    The window of time for filing 2011 assessment complaints will be June 1st until September 10th or up until 30 days from the date that your township publishes it’s changes in the newspaper.

  • bob

    Frustrated, it was difficult to get the assessment cut on my home, and I have had rentals that they refused to make the cut on. On one rental they made no real claims as to why the home was worth the assessment but they refused to cut the assessment as well as my offer for any member of the board to by the property from me for half of the assessment. In the end if any of them had thought the rental was worth the $70,000 assessment why would they not jump on the chance to buy it for $35,000, I had paid $30,000 for that home.

  • Mahkno

    The sheet that they mailed out has on it:

    “Fair market value is determined based, in part, on market data, costs to rebuild a property, or the income a property can generate for its owner.”

  • Ben

    If you want to see what houses are selling in your area, go to type in your address and it will give you a lot of information.

  • Karrie E. Alms

    Ben: At least for my property … Zillow was even worse than the Peoria County Assessment … Zillow estimate of $81,900 and Peoria County estimate of $59,160 … in both cases … someone seems to be smokin’ or drinkin’ something funny to come up with either set of numbers ……..

    CJ: How very interesting …. Peoria County Website ….

    Assessments Office Presents “Proper Property Value”
    Aug 16, 2011

    Peoria County wants to make sure all interested property owners in the county have an opportunity to understand the process used to determine their property’s recently reassessed value. Therefore, Supervisor of Assessments Dave Ryan is presenting a free workshop entitled “Proper Property Value” at ICC’s North Campus on Thursday, September 1, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. This workshop is offered through Illinois Central College’s Adult Community Program and registration is required due to limited seating. Property owners should call 690-6900 or visit and select “special interests” to register.

    During the free workshop, Ryan will explain how property is assessed and how property taxes are determined based on the assessed value. Attendees will learn where their tax dollars go, how levies imposed by taxing districts affect the total amount owed, and how to appeal a property assessment. Time will be reserved for Q & A. For more information, please call the Supervisor of Assessments Office at (309) 672-6910.

  • Miss Information

    The amount of misinformation on here is amazing! Misinformation that in my opinion has originated out of the county itself – to keep property tax revenues inflated. FMV stands for Fair Market Value. If you don’t know what fair market value is, look it up. Your tax assessment should be 1/3 of it. The Assessment office may as a matter of policy not use foreclosures or short sales, but the fact is that both types of properties including other “distressed sales” are absolutely an indication of fair market values in the neighborhood. In fact, often the reason homes go into foreclosure or a short sale scenario is because they haven’t been able to sell through ordinary means. Repressing or “disallowing” those sales- if they exist- in a tax appeal intentionally ignores the realities of a market and is not a good indication that the Assessment office, the County and Board of Review (who in theory can all work together to manipulate the process quite easily) are interested in taxing homeowners fairly.

    @Mahkno – a licensed appraiser would not be allowed to use comparable sold properties that are more than a year old. If the county uses three year old data to support a Board of Review Decision they should be a. laughed at and as being a body not interested in fair taxation and the appellant should proceed to the next step.

    The fact that a commenter above noted that as a prospective home buyer she is seeing many properties substantially over-assessed should be troubling to anyone who has an interest in the future welfare of Peoria County.

    Also troubling are bob’s comments-which are all too common. The Assessment office insists that a property is worth MORE than the highest price a buyer not under duress was willing to pay for a property on the fair and open market. (And any reasonable person should assume that any property listed in a MLS -as foreclosures often are- is on the fair and open market.) One must ask, under what circumstances would a seller be willing to sell a property for less than what he can get on a fair and open market, with the possible exception being a sale to a relative? I can’t think of any. Even if it’s a foreclosure, the bank still wants to recoup as much of its loss as possible, no? The point is that most sales can be considered “arms length” transactions, regardless if the Assessment Office agrees or not.

    In my opinion, over-taxation among other things has hurt the Peoria real estate market very badly. They may win in the short-term, but we are all losing in the long-term. I invite every Peoria citizen to know the process, know your property value, and fight over-taxation with every fiber of your being.

  • Frustrated

    Ms. Info – Thank you for your comments. I agree that the assessment situation is thwarting real estate sales. Yesterday I looked at a house located in a great neighborhood that was in excellent condition (and could be had for a good deal) but . . . I would not even consider bidding on the home because of the taxes. The current assessment is in line with the 2007 purchase price, however the house is now listed $75,000 less than the purchase price and based on other recent sales in the neighborhood, the house will eventually sell for at least $150,000 under the “07” purchase price. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have looked at a number of properties where the list price is in line with market conditions but the taxes are way out of whack. As a buyer on a budget, I do not want to deal with the uncertainty of appealing taxes.

  • bob

    Frustrated – you have made my point. Is their anyone out there who believes that property values in Peoria have only dropped by 1.5% on average. I would guess that most areas have seen a minimum of a 20% drop, with some areas being hit far harder. So why have assessments not gone down an equal amount?

    If I am not mistaken the County used the 3 year argument mentioned by Mahkno above to argue last time around that the real drop in values would hit with this assessment. The argument then was that 2 of the 3 years property had been high thus holding up the assessments over that final year when properties first started to go to hell.

  • Karrie E. Alms

    bob asks …. “So why have assessments not gone down an equal amount?”

    Because _____________________________________.

    ……taxing bodies are overspending on non-essentials with taxpayer’s money?

    ……taxing bodies would be in cardiac arrest or even heart failure because the structural imbalance for their budgets is grossy understated due to ‘juiced’ or ‘gamed’ EAVs?

    …… you can fill-in the blank yourself ….

  • Chase Ingersoll

    Back in 1995 I protested about 3 dozen of these for homeowners in the Moss Bradley Association.

    Bob Kaiser CPA 1215 N Sheridan – 672-1200 does dozens of these, if not hundreds. Harry William and Associates was a law office that was doing them.

    Just prepare your case to the hearing board as if you were preparing to file in court. The hearing board does not have the resources to defend itself in Court against well prepared causes, so in my experience, they had to be reasonable.

    But look at it this way…they throw out a wide net and those who are not informed and don’t fight to get out of it are going to pay more and carry more of the costs for all of you.

  • UnclePugsly

    Well, and then there’s the fact that commercial properties are typically UNDER assessed whereas homeowners are being OVER assessed.

    How many gov’t paid chickens can sit on the property owners fence before the fence collapses? I’d say peoria is just about ready for a collapse.

  • Just commenting

    “Well, and then there’s the fact that commercial properties are typically UNDER assessed whereas homeowners are being OVER assessed.”

    Well I think Caterpillar, Inc would disagree with you.

  • head in the clouds

    did dr lathan really say at BU that district 150 was one of the “best school districts in the nation”?
    Was it a comedy act or had she been drinking? Excuse me grenita, how many schools made ayp?

  • Just A Resident

    Looks like our newest East Bluff TIF will be falling off the cliff & taking City taxpayers with it. What was OSF thinking (of course-no property taxes for them)? Tax revenues down would only further any long-term TIF debt obligation. The City should review all potential debt obligations & perhaps downsize plans or eliminate them.

  • checking for details.

    back to pushing the Warehouse District as the number one priority. the events of the past few days are already buried and forgotten. property values down, crime up (or down if you can twist the numbers), back to spending money we don’t have to benefit a few on stuff we don’t need.

  • merle widmer

    Can I say, I told you so?? Every politician will tell you they didn’t raise property taxes. Of course not. They just permit the EVA to rise every year but unequally. According to my assessment my house should sell for $312,000 when it was appraised by an accredited appraisor at $215,000.

    If you recall, I started the publicity about the unfairness of property tax assessments in a letter published by the editors of the JS. That was two years ago. Eventually I hired Bob McQuellon who filled papers with the state and successed in getting my taxes lowered and refunds for previous years.

    I am ready to help lead or particpate in a local taxpayer revolt or lawsuit if an attorney can be found to take on the cause of the grossly overassessed.

    If you have been readimg my blogs, you had better understand that taxes or fees or whatever you may call them; gargabe fees, etc. will go no place but up every year for years to come.

    Remember Henry Hollings statements, “Peoria is a World Class City”. Unfortunately, Peoria could afford less “class” and more learning.

    Just a reminder. Over 50% pay no prperty taxes and many pay few taxes at all. After all, free “everything” means no taxes to the recepients.

  • merle widmer

    I made a large error. My fair value only went up by approximately 500 dollars. Still it when up when values are down. And no way cold I sell my house for “fair value” assessed.