An email from Grafton Township Assessor Al Zielinski:
Appealing your 2014 taxes and your 2015 assessments
Personally and via my presentations, I’ve explained and cautioned about the assessment games played at the county level.
However, I never imagined to what level, Bob Ross, the Chief County Assessment Officer, could/would sink.
Earlier this month, my Deputies conveyed he mentioned he was going to roll back some neighborhoods to previous levels because of political pressure.
I thought it was a misunderstanding.
But, as indicated when the county published Grafton’s assessments this past Saturday, it truly happened.
As proof, the county’s Excel file is attached.
Below is one example: Cheswick Place.
|MCKNIGHT, BRYAN A COURTNEY A||
Our office’s total assessment was $113,449 (down roughly $6,000 from last year).
That valuation is accurate, fair and representative of the 5/2011 purchase price of $360,000 as well as other property sales in Cheswick and competing neighborhoods.
Nonetheless, as shown above, Bob Ross reduced the assessment to $99,720: a market value of under $300,000.
As proven below, that’s $55,000 below the median sales price of the Cheswick properties that sold in 2014 and the first 6 months of 2015.
Our assessment put the property value at a much more accurate $340,350.
Obviously, there’s no justification for the unique subdivision reduction.
If Bob Ross had problems with Grafton’s 2014 assessments, that was the year to correct them, not retroactively.
Further, it’s a blatant violation of uniformity because only specific neighborhoods were reduced while everyone else’s assessments in the township stood.
I’m infuriated but, because I don’t own property in Grafton Township, my options are limited.
I will pursue whatever avenues I have via the State’s Attorney for malfeasance and the Department of Revenue for whatever.
But, my guess is, unless someone sues, this will be allowed to stand.
Below are my recommendations.
1. Appeal your 2014 property taxes before the 75-day window expires.
Per the McHenry County Treasurer’s site: “Property taxes: The last day to pay property taxes is Friday October 23rd, 2015.”
Emilie Kaplan at Sneckenberg Thompson & Brody remains my strong recommendation as counsel.
2. Appeal your 2015 assessments.
Never thought I’d say that while I was in office but never thought I’d see what just happened.
Our office will not be disputing appeals this year unless the county’s transgression is reversed.
Use equity as your basis because the Chief County Assessment Officer’s action made it a slam dunk.
3. Please tell everyone you know in Grafton Township especially your neighbors.
I took office to clean-up a crooked process but this is unfathomable.
Please let me know how I can help.
As a favor, if you forward this e-mail as I hope you will, please remove my personal e-mail to protect me from spammers.
Anyone can and should contact me at the office: [email protected]