Have you ever looked at your property tax bill? Recently, this years’ second property tax installment payment was due. You might also have received a notice from your mortgage company or township assessor indicating you may be paying higher taxes in 2020. How did this happen when the tax levy remained the same?
Each year, township assessors determine the value of your home. The value fluctuates based on factors that either raise or lower community property rates. Ask yourself: Are overall property values going up? Does your community rate well for education, livability, positive business environment and the availability of parks? If your home was assessed as having increased in value, then the amount of taxes you owe on your home will increase - based on the higher value, even though the overall rate of taxation has remained unchanged.
So, where do your taxes go? Multiple taxing districts are listed on your tax bill, which include your school district, community college district, village or municipality, park district and township. Typically, the largest portion of your taxes goes to your local school district. The second largest portion is probably to your municipality. A very small amount - about 3 percent, goes towards county government.
I encourage every homeowner to look closely at your tax bill to see where your tax money is going. There might be some surprises. A closer look might also challenge us to reflect on what services we value from our governmental entities, to consider additional ways to fund those services, or change the tax formula. I want to have these conversations. Thank you to everyone I’ve met at meetings or going door-to-door, who have asked questions and shared your concerns with me. Let’s continue this conversation and stay informed.