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Senate Passes Bill to Address Shorewood Assessment Error

Village officials hope measure — which needs Assembly approval — is the answer to protecting taxpayers from mistake that could see property taxes rise 5.8 percent.

A bill authored by state Sen. Alberta Darling and soften the impact of a valuation error on taxpayers unanimously passed the state Senate Thursday.

The error made by Shorewood’s assessor forces the village to add an additional $2 million to this year’s levy.

To avoid an artificial spike in property taxes, Shorewood officials plan to decrease the levy by $2 million, borrow or use cash on hand to fund the difference, and then raise the levy the following year by the same amount.

However, state law prohibits municipalities like Shorewood from increasing its tax levy for any reason other than through development or referendum.

Senate Bill 224, authored by Darling (R-River Hills) and Rep. Samantha Kerkman (R-Powers Lake), would exclude Shorewood from the levy limit law, which would allow village officials to make good on their plan. The legislation needs to be approved quickly because the village must set its levy by Nov. 15.

The bill now moves on to the state Assembly.

As a backup plan, , an arm of the state Department of Revenue, arguing that Shorewood shouldn’t be forced to harm property owners with additional taxation.

Associated Appraisal Consultants Inc., the village's assessor, recorded the value of Shorewood’s Tax Incremental Financing District No. 1, which blankets much of the business district, as $77 million instead of $77,000. It sent that figure to the  state Department of Revenue, which then published that incorrect value.

Department of Revenue officials say state law prohibits them from changing property values after they have been published.

As a result, the total equalized value of property in Shorewood is artificially inflated for next year and village property owners could have to fork over $2 million more on the tax bills that will be mailed in December. That's a $442 increase from last year on a home assessed at $300,000.

Officials have said raising property taxes due to the error is a worst-case scenario.

Bob McBride October 28, 2011 at 03:55 AM
Say it, Shorewood, say it.....c'mon, you can do it....say it.... "Thank you, Alberta."
Jay Sykes October 28, 2011 at 07:03 AM
That 'ill happen when pig 'n whistles fly.
CowDung October 28, 2011 at 02:33 PM
Has there been any action on getting the assessor to pay damages for their error?
tim wick October 28, 2011 at 09:22 PM
Don't you love it! Alberta came through for us even though we turn our back on her at election time, but now we need her help and she comes through. We are lucky, could you immagine asking for help from Lena Taylor after the redistricting.. That phone call would go unanswered.
Bonnie Pedraza October 28, 2011 at 11:53 PM
Wheter we or Alberta like it or not, she is our representative, and it is her job to do what's best for us.
Bob McBride October 29, 2011 at 12:03 AM
Given all the time many of you spent trashing her and attempting to get her removed from office, a simple "thank you" wouldn't kill you. But I have to agree with Jay on the odds of that actually happening.
Daniel Ford October 29, 2011 at 12:04 AM
And where is Sandy "haven't heard from you since the election loss" Pasch?
Naive One October 30, 2011 at 03:36 PM
OK, I don't think that she wrote the bill herself, she had somebody on her staff do it. But now, let's see if she has the muscle to push this through. Let's see if she can make the deals, and call in any favors, and do what politicians do. If she is successful, she has my support, if she is not successful, she will be another politician pandering to some of the constituants. This is a good test. This will show me what is what.
Bob McBride October 30, 2011 at 03:43 PM
Loren, the Senate has passed the bill, so she's done her job. Now it's up to the assembly, where the person representing the district is Sandy Pasch. If it doesn't get through the assembly and you want to hang that on one person, you now know where to hang it.
tim wick October 30, 2011 at 04:20 PM
Sandy who?
Jay Sykes October 31, 2011 at 10:42 AM
Oh... SANDY.... SANDy... SANdy... SAndy... Sandy... sandy... ndy. Just checking out the Shorewood echo chamber;hollow as ever.

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