EDWARDSVILLE — Madison County Chairman Kurt Prenzler says the property tax reform plan released by former Superintendent of Schools Bob Daiber earns an “F” in the basic fundamentals of property taxes.
“When it comes to property taxes,” Prenzler said. “He needs to go back to school.”
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Prenzler, a certified public accountant, served as county treasurer for six years prior to being elected chairman.
“My opponent’s plan is to wave a magic wand, in an attempt to ‘freeze’ property tax assessments,” Prenzler said. “He can’t do that, and even if he could, it wouldn’t solve the problem.”
Determining the value of the county’s 135,000 parcels is the job of many people in township and county assessment offices. Their results are sent to Springfield for review.
“If they lowball property assessments, the state will just add a multiplier to raise it back up,” Prenzler said.
Every year, thousands of taxpayers challenge their assessments, and many receive reductions. Anyone wanting information on how to do this should contact their township assessor or the county assessment office.
“At the end of the day, your tax bill is the result of districts imposing taxes,” Prenzler said. “I’m proud of how we’ve reduced the county’s tax rate.”
In the past five years, the county’s tax rate decreased from $.75 to $.57 per $100 of assessed valuation. During Prenzler’s term as chairman, the county tax levy was lowered from $32.6 to $30.8 million and has remained flat for two years.
County government accounts for less than 8 percent of total property taxes. The remaining 92 percent goes to public schools, community colleges, municipalities, etc.
“There’s simply no free lunch,” Prenzler said. “The solution to property taxes is local districts spending less money and growing the tax base through economic growth.”