Assessment Quality in McHenry County After the Last Township Election

Every so often, it seems useful to share measurements of assessment quality among McHenry County Townships.

These are basically measures of the work of township assessors, although the quality of their work can be increased or decreased by changes made by the McHenry County Supervisor of Assessments and the Board of (Assessment) Review.

This information comes from analysis of property assessments compared to sale prices.  Statistics are not calculated if there are less than 25 sales in a township.

The measure of quality I have focused on since the lat 1960’s has been the “coefficient of dispersion.”

Put in human talk, that is the “margin of error.”

You will note that the lowest margin of error in 2014 was found in Grafton Township.

The 11% margin of error, while high, is significantly lower than the 18% countywide average.

What would a 10% margin of error mean?

Let’s use a sales tax analogy.

If the sales tax were 5% (and I remember those days in Illinois) and there were three shoppers buying $100 worth of goods,

  • one shopper would pay $4.50
  • one shopper would pay $5
  • one shopper would pay $5.50

There would be an equal chance of any of those results.

Naturally, if the shopper paying right on the money ($5) and the shopped paying too much ($5.50) knew of the $4.5 shopper, there would be consternation at the check-out line.

Consider then, the results if the average margin of error were 20%, instead of 10%.

The County’s average is 18%, brought down by Grafton Township’s 11% margin of error.

Assessments is all but Algonquin and Richmond Townships are just as likely to be

  • 20% too high as
  • just right as
  • 20% too low.

So, using the 5% sales tax on $100 purchases again,

  • one shopper would pay $4
  • the second would pay $5
  • the third would pay $6

This should give you an idea what some people are so disturbed at the property tax.

It is not just that tax districts have generally taken as much as is allowed by state law.

It is that there is inequity anywhere one wants to look.

= == = =
Current Assessors are

  • Alden Township – Constance Jones
  • Algonquin Township – Robert Kunz
  • Burton Township -Jessica Huber
  • Chemung Township – Doug Hawthorne
  • Coral Township – Rich Kaszniak
  • Dorr Township – Veronica A Myers
  • Dunham Township – Geri Alten
  • Grafton Township – Alan Zielinski
  • Greenwood Township – Karen D. Roth
  • Hartland Township – Mike Crouse
  • Hebron Township – Tracie VonBergen
  • Marengo Township – Jon Klick
  • McHenry Township – Mary Mahady
  • Nunda Township – Mark Dzemske
  • Richmond Township – Patricia O’Neill
  • Riley Township – Tammy Benitez
  • Seneca Township – Paul Bockman


Assessment Quality in McHenry County After the Last Township Election — 14 Comments

  1. Replace the assessor in Nunda 30 years on the job time to go

  2. It appears the Alan Zielinski is doing a great job and should be returned to the office he is running so well.
    On the ballot he is a write in ALAN ZIELINSKI.

  3. I think it should be noted that COD is not only about quality of assessments but uniformity of housing. This is what an assessor outside of McHenry County said about COD:

    “The Coefficient of dispersion is a good statistical tool to rate the quality of assessments but you also have to compare apples to apples. If the housing stock is mostly new subdivisions and very homogeneous then the coefficient of dispersion should be 10 or under according to the International Association of Assessing Officers. If the housing stock is older and nonhomogeneous then the COD should be 15 or lower according to the international Association of Assessing Officers. If you have any depressed areas in a township with lots of foreclosure sales the COD will be much higher.”

    The COD in Grafton has always been low, even before Zielinski, because there are newer, more uniform homes in the township, and lots of sales in which to draw data from. In general, the COD is higher in places where there are less sales and properties that are older or more rural. The fact that the Grafton Assessor is using this data is misleading to say the least. But again, he misleads on everything. (Sorry Tinkerbelle.)

  4. So as not to “mislead,” two other statistics from the IL Department of Review further prove Grafton led all McHenry townships in accuracy for 2014 and 2015.

    Price-related Differential
    2014: 1.02 2015: 1.00

    “In addition to the COD, the intra-area price-related differential can be used as an indicator of assessment uniformity. While the COD measures the general scattering of individual ratios around the median ratio, the intra-area price-related differential measures a pattern of inequity in assessments that has a correlation with the value of the property.

    If there is a tendency for the higher-valued properties to exhibit lower assessment ratios than lower-valued properties, the price-related differential will be greater than 1.03. If, on the other hand, higher-valued properties have higher assessment ratios than lower-valued properties, the price-related differential will be less than .98. Differentials greater than 1.03 or less than .98 are both indicative of an inequity in assessment.”

    Coefficient of Concentration
    2014: 57.99 2015: 56.36

    “The coefficient of concentration (COC) is a measure of uniformity that measures the percentage of ratios that fall within a given percentage of the median. The percentage from the median used in the department’s calculations is 10. If 50 percent of the ratios fall within 10 percent (plus or minus) of the median, the COC is 50. A higher COC is an indicator of better assessment equity.”


    Finally, if Grafton is so “uniform,” why are more than 100 neighborhoods needed for consistency?

    Just ask property owners in The Gates, Turnberry, Colleen’s Cote and downtown Huntley how “uniform” their properties are.

  5. Finally, almost 40% of Grafton’s parcels are categorized as agricultural.

    Nobody with even a modicum of common sense would characterize those as “uniform.”

    So as not to “mislead,” the Department of Review’s statistics are for the entire township.

  6. Again, these are stats touted by the Grafton assessor in a campaign year.

    It doesn’t change the fact that the Grafton COD was lowest in the county long before AZ took office.

    It also doesn’t change the fact that AZ fails to take responsibility for his multiple transgressions during his first term in office, or how his assessment methods have more questions than answers, and that those answers are kept under lock and key in a less than “transparent” assessors office.

    Gotta love election season.

  7. As a final clarification on this matter, I never claimed CoD was the metric on which I based my statement:

    “Grafton was the only township in McHenry County to surpass the Department of Revenue’s accuracy specifications three years in a row.”

    First, that determination is made relative to something the poster obviously has never read: the Illinois Property Tax Code, specifically 35 ILCS 200/4-20.

    “(1) the median level of assessment must be no more than 35 1/3% and no less than 31 1/3% of fair cash value of property in his or her assessment jurisdiction; and (2) the coefficient of dispersion must not be greater than 15%.”

    Second, I didn’t make those determinations; the McHenry County Chief Assessment Officer’s office did.

    Third, I didn’t “tout” them; merely quoted from the DoR web site’s documents.

    Gotta love uneducated posters who throw rocks just to throw rocks.

    And want their sweet deals back for themselves at the expense of others.

  8. Mr. Zielinski you are argumentative and condescending to the people you seek votes from and the people you work for.

  9. Conveying the truth is neither argumentative and condescending.

    The truth is a much better alternative than letting blatant lies and misrepresentations go unanswered.

  10. Al Al Al,

    Let’s talk sweetheart deals.

    Let’s talk how your address is at least $100k underassessed.

    And we’re pretty sure you know what the value is, since you “professionally” appraised it for a board of review hearing a few years back, but didn’t tell the Board of Review you were moving into said property.

    (That’s like the ultimate “insiders deal.”)

    And let’s talk about how you woefully underassessed your neighborhood.

    And let’s also talk about how you won’t take ownership for anything you committed in your office.

    That’s what a self described person of high morals would do. Not the condescending pud on this message board, that touts statistics no common citizens ever see.

    Let’s talk those FOIA requests.

    You still think the PIN numbers are private data?

    Are we really to believe that?

    We’re educated.

    And we know what you did Al.

    That’s no lie.

    And you know it too.

    Maybe you’re just lying to yourself.

  11. Mary MaHady is doing a terrible job assessing property values in McHenry Township.

    There are many residents leaving Illinois due to her regime’s poorly ran office and inflated assessed values.

    Homes values are plumitting under her regime due to over assessed out of range taxes.

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