Manhattan Residents:                                                                               04-20-2016

            2016 assessments will have to increase this year according to the results of the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) Real Estate Sale Ratio Study.  Since 2008 assessments have been lowered and now as sale prices are increasing the majority of recent sales are indicating that the assessments are falling below .3333 of market value Illinois mandated assessment level.   Manhattan Township is not unique this year and other  Will County Townships will have to increase assessments in 2016.  Rising assessments will not have an immediate impact to lower the Manhattan Township Tax Rates it will depend in part on the amount of new assessed value from new construction.  We are starting to get quite a bit of new construction since 2014.  However this could be offset by capital improvements by the taxing bodies.  The above mentioned study sets limits on how much the assessor or county can decrease or increase each township’s total assessed value during the mass appraisal phase of the tax cycle.  It is important to note the limit does not apply to a single property it is on the total change in assessed value for the township.  The limits are in place in part for over lapping tax districts so each township contributing to these districts are assessed statistically at the same level.  The tentative 2016 assessments will be posted around the first week of August 2016 a change can still occur due to any 2015 permit work that has not been inspected yet that may add assessed value.  Also, the Will County Board of Review has the authority to change assessments until it closes its yearly session typically December 31 of each year.

            An increase in the assessed value does not automatically equal an increase in the tax bill amount.  Initially tax bills will increase because it will take a few years of rising assessments to have a significant impact on lowering tax rates mainly because of the way the Illinois Department of Revenue conducts the Sale Ratio Study.  Part of the logic in the design of the study keeps the tax rates from changing too quickly up or down because multiple years of sale and assessment data is used to determine how much assessments can raised or be lowered for each new year.   This affects the tax rate formula (Tax Levy divided by Equalized Assessed Value)  The Tax Levy is simply the requested combined amount of tax dollars of all of the taxing bodies.  It should be apparent how the IDOR Sale Ratio Study impacts the tax rate calculation each year.  I can only hope the tax rate will begin to decrease as the total assessed value of Manhattan Township which includes the Village of Manhattan increases.  So if the total Levy of all the Taxing Bodies listed on your tax bill does not increase to an amount that offsets the rise in assessed value the tax rate will begin to decrease.

            In August assessment change notices will be sent by Will County.  At that time there will be a thirty-day period to file an assessment appeal.  The Will County Board of Review may lower an assessment if the evidence presented is more persuasive than the evidence submitted by the assessor because at this point in the tax cycle the limitation of the equalization factor discussed above does not apply.  At this time the assessor and the Will County Board of Review are only dealing with an individual property rather than doing mass appraisal. 

           I can only provide assessment relief when the facts according to real estate assessment practices indicate an additional adjustment is needed.  The Manhattan Township Assessor’s Web Site is available so all can have an anonymous transparent view of all assessments.  Even if a person does not understand every detail of the assessment process they can see the results and call me when they have questions.   Anyone can appeal the assessment on their property before the Will County Board of Review.  It is just part of the assessment process that gives anyone the right to seek another opinion based on a set of facts they present.     

                                                                        Joseph R. Oldani