Homeowners urge county board to act on assessments

PAXTON, Ill. (WCIA) -- Concerned homeowners packed a Ford county board meeting.

As we've been reporting, after properties in several towns were reassessed for the first time in years, many owners have been asking officials why their tax bills are changing drastically. In some cases, they're doubling.

This is the second meeting the supervisor of assessments has tried her best to explain the process. But many who were there tonight say that ship has sailed, and they want the county board to step in and do something.

"A lot of people are scared they're going to lose their homes over this if they can't afford to pay the taxes."

Tim Nuss is angry. He's only one of 12 county board members, but he's one of hundreds who have tried to raise a red flag.

"I don't want to see our county get into the real estate business where we're sitting on a bunch of houses and everything else that people couldn't afford to pay the taxes," says Nuss.

"Mainly I'm going to listen," Supervisor of Assessments Patricia Langland said ahead of the meeting, "See what all the people have to say, see what their thoughts are on it."

She did listen, and she got an earful.

"Public trust has been broken," one woman told the board. "Therefore I'm asking for the resignation of our Supervisor of Assessments, or that the board look into removing her from office."

The Concerned Taxpayers of Coles County group has been fighting their reassessments for more than a year. After hearing our report about Ford county's situation, they decided to share what they've been going through.

"I saw on WCIA channel 3 news some issues that came up in your county," James DiNaso told the board, "It sounds to me like there's some similarities between what possibly is going on in your county and what's going on in our county."

Langland blamed a lot of the problems on misinformation, bad office computers, and limited resources.

"I'm doing the best I can," she says, "I'm not above learning if somebody tells me I'm doing something wrong or need to do something different."

Out of about 1,300 properties that were reassessed, Langland says 103 of them were appealed to the Board of Review. Several people urged the county board to look into this more. The chairman of the board of review says they're ready to help homeowners figure things out.

That wasn't the only issue that came up at the meeting. Several homeowners urged the board to consider renewing a moratorium on building new wind turbines in the county. It was established after several complaints about fuzzy TV signals, but was set to expire soon. The board did decide to extend the moratorium.


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