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Property Values Decline in Plainfield, Will County

But lower assessments do not necessarily translate into lower tax bills.

For the third consecutive year, Will County homeowners will see a reduction in the assessed value of their houses.

Will County Supervisor of Assessments Rhonda Novak announced Wednesday that assessments are down an average of 6.44 countywide due to the continued effects of the housing slump.

In Plainfield Township, Assessor Erin Kljaich said assessments are down an average of 6 percent.

“It’s really important to note that it’s not 6 percent across the board,” Kljaich added, saying some pockets of Plainfield Township will see even greater reductions.

The decline can be attributed to the collapse of the housing market that started in 2008, resulting in a large number of foreclosures, a deflated demand for new housing, a drop in the amount for which houses were being sold and increased difficulty in getting mortgage financing.

Property assessments are determined by the amount houses sold for in the previous three years. In 2012, those years would have been 2009, 2010 and 2011, Novak said.

According to Kljaich, 2008 was the last year home prices were on the rise. With the slump in full swing by 2009, prices began to level off, dropping by 6 to 7 percent in both 2010 and 2011.

But a drop in your home’s value doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll see a drop in your property taxes.

“That’s a huge question a lot of people are asking,” said Kljaich, who even has a section of her website dedicated to explaining the topic.

“The tax rate is set by the county, and it’s based on the levies requested by governing bodies,” she said.

Despite budget cuts, some taxing bodies have had to increase their levies, thereby increasing the tax rate, in order to maintain funding for operations and services, Kljaich said.

That means that your tax bill could stay the same or go up, even as your property value goes down.

For example, District 202 raised its tax rate from 4.86 cents per $100 of assessed valuation in 2010 to 5.27 cents per $100 assessed valuation in 2011. This would be applied to tax bills paid in 2012.

“If [taxing bodies] continue to ask for more money than the previous year, your tax rate increase is going to be greater than your decrease in assessment,” Kljaich said.

Someone's tax bill is also determined by the taxing districts in which their house is located. For example, while Joliet's fire and library expenses are included in the taxes that are paid to city, has independent and districts -- each of which sets their own tax rate. It's possible those two taxing bodies could set rates higher than what might have been paid were they included under a municipal government umbrella.

It's also possible there are taxing bodies whose district encompasses one part of town but not another. Two evenly matched houses next door to each other -- one in the district, and the other not -- could pay different amounts in taxes as a result.

Property owners should receive by mail a statement notifying them of their house's new assessed value next week. If someone wants to appeal their assessment with the county's board of review, they have until Sept. 10 to do so.

For more information, go to www.willcountysoa.com. Plainfield Township residents can call 815-436-5110.

Julie Ferenzi August 03, 2012 at 02:30 PM
I'm a Realtor in Plainfield, and I saw a huge increase in activity early in the summer. Mostly first time home-buyers or cash investors buying foreclosures and short sales. The amount of lis pendens (default notices) to homeowners in Plainfield have remained steady based on weekly public records so it's a problem that is not going away anytime soon. The high taxes on low valued property is a turn off for a lot of buyers, but I imagine that it's happening all over. For a buyer with an FHA loan that has to escrow their taxes, the mortgage payment is really affected by the amount of taxes that are included in each months statement.
Kristine Neumann August 03, 2012 at 04:25 PM
You don't have to tell me that because the value of my home has decreased does not mean my property taxes will decline. My taxes went up over $500! While everyone is cutting back, it seems the villiage & schools don't know the meaning of spending less. Where does it all end?
silentrippy August 03, 2012 at 04:34 PM
The Village just raised gas and sales tax on July 1st. Increasing taxes means more spending. How about more cutting? Yet we don't hear about the Village cutting back at all. For the so called republican base around in plainfield they sure know how to spend. And next for the school district, did you know the school district gave Diageo a $180,000 property tax break on their recent expansion? Then they voted this year to spend an additional $322,000 on administrator salaries to stay competetive according to Roger Bonuchi and they're still 8 million in the whole. A shift of pensions to the school district 202 and watch your property tax bill go even higher. Watch out!
Jimmy August 03, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Sure wish this article included Wheatland Township property values in Plainfield. Wheatland blew up just before the housing bust with many new homes. Those homes were hit the hardest when it comes to property value loss, yet they pay as if their homes had not lost a dime in value. It's absurd and it's fleecing of the property owners.
Nick Beam August 03, 2012 at 09:11 PM
How can a school district give a tax break to a business? They don't have that power.
silentrippy August 03, 2012 at 11:35 PM
I stand corrected....Diageo was given a 50% tax abatement from 202 for 5 years of their assessed value. Obviously they do Nick. http://plainfield.patch.com/articles/diageo-plans-22m-expansion-with-help-from-district-202-tax-abatement
Tim August 04, 2012 at 12:17 AM
This is a misleading and incorrect headline. But then I look at who is on the byline, and it makes perfect sense. Can you please go back to the Joliet Patch where nobody will read your poorly written, and factually incorrect 'articles'? Property values(seasonally adjusted) actually rose on a month over month basis, and are to turn positive on a year over year basis in the 4th quarter of this year.. Assessments are what fell, not values like this headline claims. http://www.standardandpoors.com/indices/sp-case-shiller-home-price-indices/en/us/?indexId=spusa-cashpidff--p-us---- Assessments, on the other hand, are calculated using a running average over a period of years(3yrs I believe in this area). While the back end of this range still shows a decrease, the most recent end will be showing an increase in value. But because this is a multi-year average, it is still 'falling'. If you are going to report on things, PLEASE at least make sure it is accurate. Spend more than the time it takes to copy-paste the information, and take the time to understand what you are posting.
Firemanfred1921 August 04, 2012 at 02:27 AM
Pay attention folks to the Plainfield Fire Protection District. They are currently in the process of trying to spend approximately $500,000 to repair a ten year old ladder truck which at the time probably cost under a million dollars. They just purchased yet another new engine after they traded in one that was 6 years old. The new engine will have all the unnecessary bells and whistles just like the other ones. The fire district does not have the money it once had and still has plans to build a 5 million dollar training tower. They will not even settle our contract because they are crying poor yet they continue to spend frivolously on equipment and trucks and chiefs and maintenance people and mulch and lets not forget the big screen TV in the Chiefs office oh and another deputy fire chief and a vehicle for him. Stone walls in the Chief's office too. What a great way to spend tax dollars. And for the two that authored the article. Why don't you attend the fire district meetings to report on what they spend. When you go, you will see some of them not use the expensive sound system and microphones so the audience cannot hear them. For a purchase to refurbish our ladder truck at acost of a half a million, you owe that to your audience to report on the way money is spent at the district.
JeffK August 04, 2012 at 05:08 AM
Fireman Fred, How many of those board seats are open for PFPD next year? Seems like there could be a big change coming Tim, you are the only one misleading. As if the city study from S&P has anything to do with Plainfield IL. They don't seem to have the data for Plainfield IL Home values are down in Plainfield. To state other wise is to be misinformed or just a lie. Home values are up in places such as Hinsdale and the like. The current market has been pumped up do to the holding back of bank owned properties. After the Nov election watch out. Prices will fall even further.
Firemanfred1921 August 04, 2012 at 05:13 AM
JeffK, two of the five seats are up on the fire district next year.
concernedresident August 04, 2012 at 02:03 PM
So our assessed value goes down, then the county changes the ratios. My assessed value last year went down 3.68% but my taxes went up $600. It's time for government (I will leave it broad-stroked) to stop the damn spending. I don't need a new township building, I don't need a fancy firehouse, I don't need another damn pedestrian bridge. I need my damn monthly mortgage payment to go down like my paycheck is! If I hear of one more school teacher raise I am gonna blow! My wife and I are empty nesters who have spent hundreds of thousands of $$$ on schooling for our kids, probably even seven figures when you think what the school taxes are. One more damn increase and it's bye bye Plainfield! Bye Bye Illinois the land of the greedy! Over $9,000 in taxes for what? For a bunch of Ass Clowns that call themselves law makers and our government.
concernedresident August 04, 2012 at 03:55 PM
On the Diago comment, I am not too upset about a tax break given to bring business to our town. It creates revenue for the village, it creates jobs, those people that work there eat at local restaurants, shop at local stores, fill their gas tanks locally. There are many advantages to that situation. What I am upset and maybe I'm wrong because i don't know how they are taxed, is to building an apartment complex for 300+ families. Do these families pay the same $7,000 I pay to District 202 and the Fire Department? Or are you going to tell me that the buildings owner pays 300+ x $7,000 for this? I find it hard to believe that the owner is paying $2,100,0000 a year to feed these two screwed up establishments. Maybe I'm wrong and that is what they pay, I know one thing for sure those families aren't paying it but all us home owners are. Now if our Ass Clown politicians gave the developer a tax break, now I would be upset because 300+ transients are getting a free ride on us.
silentrippy August 04, 2012 at 04:46 PM
A corporation is the same as a person so why don't all the homeowners who build new homes get the same tax abatement? I have a problem with big corporations making huge profits getting the tax breaks while the little guys like you and I get screwed. My 202 and fire district taxes were way up this year. Although the fire district was not part of the Diageo tax abatement their portion of the property tax bill still went up.
Blake August 05, 2012 at 05:26 AM
Jeff, Hopefully someone in the community will step to run for the fire district board. There needs to be some serious changes in the way they do business. They do not seek bids for new firetrucks. They prefer to give their (our) money to the same company every time and do not even seek a price from other vendors. Pretty smart huh! So if you know anyone that has the desire to seek elected office and had no connection in anyway to the fire district do your best to encourage them to run for fire district trustee.
JeffK August 05, 2012 at 05:51 AM
Concernedresient prepare to be upset. This is from a Dec 19 2011 Patch article about the apartments " At the village of Plainfield's reqest, the District 202 school board agreed to reduce the value per acre from $139,000 to $75,000" There is your tax break and both the village and school district are at fault. I agree with your first post except for the teacher part, the teachers have not gotten a raise. They have had a 2 year pay freeze and they have to pay more for insurance so that is actaully a pay cut. The administrators are the ones who gut the raise and it was retro active. 3 of the 7 school board members spouses were amoung the group of admin that got that raise. They only fair thing we can do is to vote all the incumbents out next April. I am and I hope you will join me
concernedresident August 05, 2012 at 02:26 PM
JeffK thanks for the pleasant not this morning, not surprised really, but really? All of us residents continue to take it up where the sun doesn't shine. I don't know if I agree with your teacher comment because I believe that I had read a comment and then followed the sequent link about a pension contribution that they are still receiving and as to paying more for insurance, really? i've been working in the public sector 30+ years and my insurance goes up every year and I get less coverage so that doesn't fly. And a pay freeze? Boo Hoo, I've take pay cuts so that I can keep my current job along with many other people I know. It just seems to me that I hear constantly about teachers going on strike complaining and I also hear every year that we are short money in their budget. Simple solution, just as in every other business out there, make cuts. If not in number of employees, then in the amount you are paying or the contributions you make to their benefits. How many residents in Plainfield or anywhere for that fact even have a pension? How many have taken pay cuts? I just got done sending a child to U of I and for them to increase their tuition over the past 4 years almost 20% SHAME ON THEM!. How can anyone afford to send kids to college? And let's not even start about the scholarship programs for the average white middle class. This government, this society of pleasing our foreign neighbors is screwing the average middle class working stiff.
silentrippy August 05, 2012 at 10:55 PM
Nick Beam - Here's another one for you... At the village of Plainfield's reqest, the District 202 school board agreed to reduce the value per acre from $139,000 to $75,000. The concessions are a “one-time exception,” Supt. John Harper said. “This does not set a precedent for us moving forward.” It does set a precedent Mr. Harper. What you are doing for one you will have to do for all. Why don't the homeowners get the same deal as Diageo and Springs at 127th? http://plainfield.patch.com/articles/full-speed-ahead-for-new-apartment-complex
JeffK August 06, 2012 at 01:29 AM
Concerned, I understand your anger. I'm angry too. I just think teachers are being made the scape goat. The district knows what they have to pay out yet they continue to spend more than they have. There are district's that don't have these problems. Frankfort, Oak lawn, St Charles, New Lenox to name a few. Why are they able to do it without any problems. They have a surplus. Teachers actually get better benefits and pay at some of those districts. Teachers who make (30k-60k) get a pay freeze, admin who make (100k-350k) get a 2.5% raise and we are still going after the teachers? The toll both operator and your garbage man from Waste Managment make as much or more than a number of teachers. I think people under estimate how difficult it is to be a teacher these days. Do you have any 10 year old kids tear your room apart and you have to sit there and watch? Ever have a kid tell you I know you can't touch me or my parents will sue? It's gotten out of control and these jobs aren't what they were when you were a kid. If you really believe they have it so easy why not give it a try? I think you would have a different perspective the problem in Plainfield is the corrupt board. If you want your taxes to go down they all have to be kicked out
Firemanfred1921 August 06, 2012 at 01:52 AM
The firefighters are also being made out to be the bad guys too. The fire district claims they have no money for our union contract. It's funny how they just spent over 10 grand on a Dixie Chopper lawn mower for one fire station. And almost 25 grand on a used telehandler. Maybe the next open house at the fire district they'll offer rides to the kids on these two pieces of equipment that have nothing to do with fighting fires or saving lives.
actually August 06, 2012 at 02:22 AM
That specific fire truck purchased is a specialty vehicle. It combined a fire engine and a rescue squad into one vehicle eliminating the need for two. The Pierce PUC was the best option offering the most space on the vehicle for typical firefighting equipment on a normal fire engine and all the equipment need for a rescue company....auto extrication equipment, jaws of life, rescue tools, etc. Alexis vehicles come no where close to being able to offer the space needed to combine an engine and a rescue vehicle. A Ferrara is closer but still offers considerably less space. The Bolingbrook FD in 2008 purchased Ferrara Engine's but recently switched and purchased a Pierce PUC in 2012 along with Darien-Woodridge and Pleasantview (Countryside/Burr Ridge) who recently purchased Pierce vehicles. Bristol Kendall in near by Yorkville uses Pierce vehicles as does Lockport, Troy in Shorewood, Minooka, NW Homer, Homer Township, Morris, Channohan, Romeoville, Lisle-Woodridge, and Oswego recently purchased a new Pierce ladder. Along with numerous other Fire Departments in the Chicagoland area. Firemanfred...Do you care to comment? How do you feel about this vehicle and the money they spent? Is it justified? Have you ever used this vehicle?

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