Serwatka Meeting Features Grafton Township Assessor

From Lakewood Village Trustee Paul Serwatka:

Town Hall Meeting with Grafton Township Tax Assessor

Paul Serwatka

Paul Serwatka

As promised, on Wednesday, June 10th at 7 pm, I will be hosting our very first “WE ARE LAKEWOOD” informational Town hall meeting.

Grab your property tax bills and bring your questions and concerns for Grafton Township Assessor, Al Zielinski.

Many residents have raised questions regarding recent changes in the EAV (Equalized Assessed Valuation) of their home, as well as concerns over increases in their overall property taxes. This is an opportunity for you to ask these questions, raise your concerns and get specific answers directly from the Grafton Township Assessor, himself.

WHEN: Wednesday, June 10th 7:00pm

WHERE: Redtail Golf Club Meeting Room
7900 Redtail Drive, Lakewood, IL

It’s important to keep in mind, that an informed and engaged citizenry is the surest and most effective means of ensuring a responsible, accountable government.

Please invite your Lakewood and other Grafton Township friends and neighbors to this event and encourage them to STAY INFORMED by joining our email list at

I look forward to seeing you on June 10th!


Serwatka Meeting Features Grafton Township Assessor — 5 Comments

  1. It is helpful to understand the assessment process and ask questions to an assessor.

    The assessor can in certain instances make adjustments to an individual’s tax bill but not the overall amount of money requested by Lakewood.

    The amount of money requested by Lakewood (which the assessor distributes amongst taxpayers) is driven by factors outside the control of the assessor, including Lakewood payments to its:

    – pension funds
    – retiree healthcare funds
    – bondholders
    – employees in terms of any salary and benefit hikes.
    – etc.

  2. In reality, ALL amounts of money (levies) are outside the control of the assessor.

    They are controlled exclusively by the entities itemized on the lower left corner of your tax bill.

    As correctly stated, the assessor only determines the total value of the township (Equalized Assessed value or EAV).

    The EAV, together with the total levies, determines the tax rate: total levies/EAV = tax rate.

    That tax rate times your net assessment generates your property tax.

    The assessor’s sole responsibility is generating accurate market value estimates for the township’s properties.

    Levies are completely out of our control.

    I’m looking forward to explaining the process in depth and addressing your concerns to the best of my ability next Wednesday.

    Thank you for this opportunity!

  3. Oops that wasn’t very well worded.

    It would be good to include the County Clerk’s role in the process including what happens on an appeal.

  4. The Assessor does not have the final say on assessments.

    The final word comes from the State and the County in the way of the infamous ‘MULTIPLIER’!!!

    Taxpayers spend a lot money to advertise the assessment changes and the mailing of assessment notices.

    If your assessment is too high, APPEAL it immediately after receipt of the your ASSESSMENT NOTICE!!

    Waiting until you get the tax bill to bitch about it is like spitting into the wind – rather counter productive!

  5. I’ve been asked to clarify that this meeting is neighborhood-specific to 180089: Redtail.

    It is not the “Lakewood” meeting discussed at the last Village Board meeting.

    Our office looks forward to making specific presentations for each of the numerous other Lakewood neighborhoods.

    We’ve already made one for The Gates, neighborhood 180015.

    Trying to concurrently speak about and compare the various Lakewood neighborhoods at the same time would be frustrating to the taxpayers.

    That’s because it would be like trying to describe the produce section at your local store: it’s not even apples to oranges; it’s more akin to comparing watermelons to rutabagas.

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