2021.02 February Assessor’s Report
Green Garden Township Assessor’s February 2021 Report For review at March 8, 2021 Township meeting
Jane Bushong, C.I.A.O. Assessor, Green Garden Township
Assessor Monthly Report
** Request to have the Assessor report attached to the Township meeting minutes?
This is to ensure Assessor reported details are accurately reported and necessary information is provided to the taxpayers.
On-going, standard Assessor tasks/projects
- Appraiser, Real Estate, attorney, county and resident requests.
- Visited new construction sites to apply assessed values as soon as occupancy is complete.
- Data entry into PAMS system: property record card information, Sales, Permits, Appeals, photos, exemption paperwork, correspondence, new construction drawings and inquiries into PAMS.
- ** Began working on commercial property education and commercial assessments as needed.
- ** Soft Appeal submissions are in process of being analyzed and assessed values reduced if justified.
- ** Attended TOI class on The Township Budget process on February 25th.
- ** Attended Land Use group call regarding new 63 acre mobile home development for Green Garden Township (Trustee Dietz will report details on this proposal). School district 207U is concerned about number of children who may reside in this planned development.
Assessment Values published in local papers – FOLLOW-UP from Feb 8th meeting:
- ** Each year, Will County SOA office publishes each township’s assessed values, which is a statutory requirement for the county.
- Green Garden Township AV’s have always been published in the Farmer’s Weekly.
- Due to Covid and lack of advertisements, Farmer’s Weekly publication is no longer printing the number of papers and are no longer mailing out the papers as they have done in the past. Only those with paid subscriptions will continue to receive this publication. There are limited locations around Will County where residents can pickup a copy of the paper. Farmers Weekly plans on developing a website where residents can access their published information in the future.
- ** Feb 8th meeting – Supervisor Murday asked that Assessor request from SOA that future publications be printed in The Vedette versus Farmer’s Weekly since that is the township’s preferred publication. Contacted SOA office and made that request. Was informed the decision of which publication assessed values are published in is strictly made by the Supervisor of Assessments, Rhonda Novak who chooses to have this published in the Farmer’s Weekly until further notice.
Covid-19 considerations change tax payments – REMINDER
- Will County board voted to change the tax payments from 2 payments (typically June & September) per year to 4 payments (June, August, September & November). At this time, this COVID-19 relief will only apply to the 2021 collection period.
Soft Appeal – now open until May 15, 2021 – REMINDER
- If a Green Garden Township taxpayer feels their assessment value is not accurate, they can file a soft appeal by completing the form posted on the Green Garden Township website. Complete instructions are also posted. This provides the taxpayer an easy method of working with the Township Assessor directly in determining whether or not their assessed value should be changed. Additional copies are available in the back of the Town Hall.
Assessor Budget 2021 – 2022
- As mentioned at February 8th board meeting, Assessor submitted April 2021 – March 2022 assessor budget to board for review and questions in January.
- Answered budget questions from both Trustees Newton & Dietz.
- Was informed in January that Board will vote on budget at Feb 8th board meeting.
- Completed Assessor budget presentation (per Supervisor Murday request) during Feb 8th meeting yet not voted on, nor voted on to be tabled.
- At end of presentation, Township Supervisor Murday announced the Assessor Budget will be voted on at the March 8th meeting.
- March 8th Agenda posted today – indicating only Assessor budget discussion, no vote.
- As explained during at the February board meeting, there are mainly two reasons the Assessor Budget amount is requested to be higher than last year:
- 1. COVID – Required Assessor education, including travel for that education was not allowed during Covid. Therefore, that education nor travel expense amounts were not used. In 2021, additional classes and travel will be necessary to catch up on State of Illinois requirements.
- 2. SALARIES – Only a small amount of Assessor related salaries was spent last year due to both COVID and also due to lack of having an Assessor Office so employees can be hired and located to work.
- To give you an idea of why employees are needed in the Assessor’s office
- I used this example in the past – Jackson Township’s Assessor office is the most similar township in Will County to the GGT Assessor’s office.
- GGT has more residential where Jackson has more industrial.
- Jackson Township Assessor works 25-30 hours (p/t) & has two office staff personnel. One employee has extensive assessment office experience. Both employees work 25-30 hours per week.
- The Jackson Assessor earns a bit more than the GGT Assessor yet only works 25-30 hours per week.
- Therefore, roughly, the Jackson Township Assessor’s office spends about 75-90 hours per week managing their assessments.
- Regarding a physical Assessor’s office:
- Jim Nolan was looking into physical office location options during the last year before he left.
- I submitted office location concerns and options to Supervisor Murday on both November 18th and Feb. 5th.
- Have not yet received a decision from the board on whether or not an adequate location will be obtained for the Assessor office anytime in the near future.
- If an appropriate office will not be approved, the Assessor will have to consider hiring an employee willing to work permanently from their own home office. Office space compensation for that employee and additional storage space well for the Assessor will have to be considered.
- It should be noted that unlike other officials who receive township funds for working from home, the Assessor’s office requires a large amount of office space (file cabinets, multiple computers, printers, monitors, supplies, manuals, etc. to adequately function. Currently two rooms in my home are used for Assessor equipment and supplies and I need more room.
Addendum (notes) to go along with Assessor report 03/08/21
Statute 35ILCS 200/2-80 states it is the Trustees responsibility to provide the Assessor an office, supplies, etc. Questions addressed at 3/8/21 board meeting
- If Assessor budget is not voted on before end of budget year (March 31, 2021), is Assessor office still able to incur expenses as of April 1st or does the Assessor office need to halt all spending as of April 1st?
- Will expenses incurred between April 1st and whenever the board approves the Assessor budget be promptly reimbursed or paid at the board meeting following those expense submissions?
- Where has the Assessor’s COVID reimbursable funds been deposited and can those deposited funds be used in 2021?
Will County Assessor Comparisons
Jackson Township, although different demographics than GGT, it is the most similar to GGT in Will County. Similar parcel counts, GGT has more residential and Jackson has more industrial.
Jackson Township Assessor works 25-30 hours (p/t) & has two office staff personnel (one who has worked for the Assessor office for about 12 years plus one additional newer employee. Each of those employees work 25-35 hours.
Jackson Township board is currently considering a higher salary for their Assessor who was appointed August, 2019 makes a similar salary to the GGT Assessor who is full time.
Jackson Township Assessor Budget – unknown at this time. The Assessor will remain part time (under 30 hours) even with the higher salary plus will retain two part time employees as well. Their office is managed daily (limited hours) by the two-part timers. The Assessor spends certain times in the office based upon appointments, etc. yet works from home in between. She does all of the assessments, appeals and meets with taxpayers upon request. The other staff completely run the office, manage all incoming calls, all data entry, general taxpayer, appraiser and real estate requests, etc.
The above information is in addition to other comparisons and considerations already submitted and discussed.