A press release for newly-installed Grafton Township Assessor Al Zielinski:
Grafton Township Assessor’s Office Opens a New Chapter
HUNTLEY, IL (January 22, 2014) – Grafton Township welcomed 2014 with cold, wind and snow. On the upside, it also opened a new chapter in property assessment accuracy and customer service when Alan Zielinski became the first new Township Assessor in almost a quarter century.
Accuracy, Credibility and Professionalism are Paramount
“This office will never appear at a hearing with inaccurate information or a biased valuation.” was among Zielinski’s first guidance.
“What are the three types of depreciation?” was one question on the deputy assessors’ 165-question test.
“Maintaining the status quo is not an option” provided a glimpse into the office’s future.
Those three statements clearly indicate how Zielinski plans to run the Grafton Township Assessor’s Office.
“We can’t provide accurate assessments with inaccurate property data. Statutes mandate using market data to set assessments so we’ll keep our assessments credible by focusing on subdivision and neighborhood sales.” said Zielinski
So what exactly is the new assessor’s major goal?
“I want every property owner to have peace of mind knowing they’re paying only their fair share of the township’s and school systems’ levies.”
Property Owner Education
Zielinski continued with another aspect he feels is crucial: taxpayer education.
“It’s important citizens realize our office plays no part in establishing their tax bills; what we do is fairly allocate the levy among the township’s parcels. The more accurate that allocation, the less likely appeals will be filed. The fewer appeals we handle, the more accurate we can be. The taxpayers benefit in every step.”
Technology can be leveraged to help. Zielinski envisions adding webinars to the assessor’s web site. Understanding the property tax cycle and the best, most powerful appeal process are among two he has already started. Attendance at community meetings (Kiwanis, Lions, etc.) as well as meetings in the assessor’s office are also priorities.
Putting Taxpayers First
“One of my campaign promises was fighting for implementation of the Property Tax Payers Bill of Rights. Representative Tryon has already agreed to support it. I recently met with Senator Althoff and Representative Franks to gain their support and both are open to continuing and expanding our dialog.” said Zielinski.
Zielinski is planning a “reverse town hall meeting” where those lawmakers can visit the office, ask questions, better understand the assessment and appeal processes and hopefully cast bipartisan legislation leading to the Property Tax Payers’ Bill of Rights becoming law.
Blessed with a Highly-skilled and Experienced Staff
“Getting through 2014 and preparing for the quadrennial assessment next year would swamp any newcomer.” acknowledged Zielinski. “The taxpayers and I are blessed with a highly-skilled, experienced and motivated staff that has welcomed my ideas, guidance and planned changes. We openly share ideas and that amicable exchange is one significant way we’ll help this office evolve to become a shining asset of Grafton Township.”
To help everyone become familiar with our team, below is the assessor’s office group photo. Please come in so we can get to know each other, answer your questions, resolve your concerns and earn your trust. We welcome your input and suggestions!