Boone County Treasurer's Office

Curtis P. Newport, Boone County Treasurer

Press release

April 30, 2010

Boone County Tax Bills Due June 4th and September 1st, 2010

Boone County Treasurer Curtis Newport has announced that 2009 real estate tax bills will be mailed on May 4th to 24,231 parcels.  The due dates for the two installments are June 4th and September 1st, 2010.

The treasurer reminds all property owners to read their bills carefully, including the back side which provides information on payment options, phone numbers for those who have questions and penalties for late payment.

Tax payments are accepted at any bank in Boone County. Bring your entire bill to the bank if you want it stamped to show proof of payment. A list of banks, locations and hours is available on the treasurer’s web site, boonecountytreasurer.us.

Payments sent by mail must be postmarked on or before the due date.

Those who wish to pay at the Treasurer’s Office are reminded that the office has moved to the new Boone County Administration Campus at 1212 Logan Avenue. Payments cannot be accepted at the Courthouse.

Contact the following offices with questions:

Assessments, exemptions or address changes – Supervisor of Assessments Office 815-544-2958

Tax rates – County Clerk’s Office 815-544-3103

Collection and distribution of taxes – County Treasurer’s Office 815-544-2666

March 3, 2010

Mobile Home tax bills were mailed today to approximately 1,200 mobile homes in Boone County.  The 2010 Mobile Home Local Services Tax is due May 3, 2010.

State law requires a penalty of $25 per month for delinquent mobile home taxes.  Remember to pay on time to avoid this penalty!

If you were age 65 or older or before January 1, 2010, you are elligible for a 20% discount off your mobile home taxes.  To apply for this discount, bring your driver’s license or state-issued ID card to the Treasurer’s Office during business hours (8:30 – 5:00 Monday-Friday).  Our office is located at 1212 Logan Avenue, Belvidere.

More information on the mobile home tax here.

Real estate tax bills were mailed on May 9, 2012.

Due dates are
June 11, 2012 first installment
September 4, 2012 second installment

If you have not yet received your tax bill, please call the Treasurer’s Office at 815-544-2666.

If you have not yet paid your first installment, please call the Treasurer’s Office for a penalty calculation at 815-544-2666.  Please note that banks cannot accept late payments, they must be mailed or delivered to the Treasurer’s Office.

For questions about assessments, exemptions and address changes, please call the Boone County Assessment Office at 815-544-2958.

For questions about tax rates, please call the Boone County Clerk’s Office at 815-544-3103.

Dear property owners:
 
It has come to our attention that some of the real estate tax bills that were mailed on June 4th, 2010 were addressed to incorrect names.  This happened because of a programming error in the mailing process.  The “mail to” names and addresses in the Boone County database have not been affected.
 
Please examine the name and address printed on the stubs near the bottom of your real estate tax bills.  If the correct mailing name and address are listed there, then no action is required on your part.  Just pay the bills as you normally would and each parcel will receive proper credit.
 
If you received tax bills with an incorrect name in the upper address window and would like a corrected bill, please contact the Boone County Treasurer’s Office at 815-544-2666.  If you provide us with the permanent property numbers, we will be happy to mail corrected bills to you.
 
I apologize for this error and promise that my staff and I will do everything possible to resolve any confusion.
 
Sincerely,
 
Curtis P. Newport
Boone County Treasurer

Property tax myth #1: Property taxes go up because real estate values go up.

False.

Property tax myth #2: When real estate values go down, property taxes should also go down.

Also false.

The truth is, property taxes go up because it costs more to provide the services those taxes pay for.  Your tax money is used to put teachers in classrooms, police cars on the street, prosecutors in courtrooms and snow plows on the road.

Government is a service industry.  And just like any other service industry, eighty to ninety percent of the costs are payroll-related.  The lion’s share of your tax money is used to pay wages, FICA taxes, health insurance and pension costs for government and school employees.  These costs tend to increase with inflation.  Schools and governments also buy fuel for their vehicles, heat for their buildings, postage, equipment and office supplies just like any other service industry.  These costs don’t go down just because the real estate market is in the tank.

Property tax collections have risen from year to year. But they did not rise as fast as property values during the real estate boom from 2000-2007. As the attached graph shows, tax rates fell significantly during that period. The most dramatic drops were the result of rapidly escalating real estate values. Tax rates are the result of dividing each tax district’s levy by the total equalized assessed value (EAV) of that district. When property values rise faster than tax levies (as they did from 2000 to 2007), the result is lower tax rates.

When property values declined from 2009-2014, tax rates increased dramatically. This trend continued until property values began to recover in 2015.

Illinois law requires that real estate  is taxed “ad valorem” (according to value).  This means that property is assessed to determine each parcel’s share of the total tax levy from each taxing district.  Your assessment is used to determine the size of your piece of the pie, but it does not affect the overall size of the pie.  Regardless what happens in the real estate market, if the pie gets bigger, the size of your piece will also get bigger.

Controlling the size of the pie (the tax levy) is the challenge facing local taxing districts.  In addition to the inflationary pressures already mentioned, local governments face arbitrated union contracts, unfunded state and federal mandates, and rapidly declining revenues from other sources (income tax and sales tax revenues have fallen dramatically in the last two years).  Expecting property taxes to miraculously drop just because our homes are worth less, is no more realistic than expecting our grocery bill or auto insurance bill to go down when the stock market has a bad year.

While there are always opportunities for local governments to become more efficient, the inescapable reality is that taxes will only go down if we decide to reduce or eliminate services.  Do you want to get rid of school sports and increase class sizes?  Reduce the number of police and firemen on duty?  Allow our roads to deteriorate and not plow them when it snows?

To demand lower taxes requires neither courage nor sacrifice. If we truly want that to happen, we need to decide what we want to live without.

The Boone County Treasurer’s Office is actually a budget-positive enterprise within county government. Fiscal Year 2009 revenues generated by the Treasurer’s Office far exceeded our operating expenses, as shown below:

TOTAL REVENUE $531,664.14 (details here)
TOTAL EXPENSES $158,020.96 (details here)
NET REVENUE $373,643.18

While we are not immune from budget cuts and we continue to look for ways to improve efficiency and do more with less, it’s good to know that the Treasurer’s Office does not require an infusion of tax dollars to operate.

 

Belvidere-based BNNS Radio reporter David Deckert interviewed Boone County Treasurer Curt Newport about the role of the office, budget issues and future plans for improving service to the public.

Click here to listen to the interview (about 12 minutes long).

Local citizen Bill Pysson submitted a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request concerning balances in the collector’s accounts.  The collector’s accounts are the bank accounts we use in the course of collecting and distributing property taxes.

His written request is here and my response is here.

Those of you who have been around for awhile may remember Gordon Spooner, who served three terms as Boone County Treasurer from 1986-1998.  He passed away on February 2nd, 2010 after a battle with heart and kidney problems.
 
Gordon and I attended the same church and knew each other for a long time.  Ten years ago he married my mother-in-law and became part of the family.  When I decided to pursue the Treasurer’s Office two years ago, he offered insights and encouragement and became my strongest supporter.
 
He left a legacy in the Boone County Treasurer’s Office – Three huge bookcases that hold collector’s books going back over 50 years.  He was an avid woodworker and built them in 1987 when a new Treasurer’s Office was constructed.  The County Board told him there was no budget for bookcases but if he built them they would pay for the lumber.
 
Gordon is survived by his second wife Rosemary, three sons and three grandsons.  He was predeceased by his first wife Lucy and two brothers.