Property values to see decreases

By Kate Chopelas

Property owners will see a decrease in their property value with the next fiscal year.

An increased 11 percent tax levy, or imposed property tax, has been set for the 2014 fiscal year. With this development and a changing market, the city will be accessing and reassessing residential and commercial properties.

Property owners will most likely have a 9.12 percent decrease in their property value.

The city’s portion of the property tax bill will increase to 11 percent, meaning 11 percent of the property tax bill will now go to the city.

“[Tax levies are] based on their individual numbers and how their situation dictates,” said Mayor John Rey.

First ward Alderman David Jacobson said the equalized assessed value is dropping. Equalized assessed value is the value of property as determined by local government.

“Basically, it is the way to offset the loss of value … we had to go up in a small amount to keep the tax levy the same,” Jacobson said. “[It’s] essentially a tax freeze. We are generating the same amount of revenue as we did last year except we offset the drop value, increasing the levy rate.”

Municipalities have a choice with where they put yearly property tax funds.

“In the city of DeKalb it does not go toward operations or infrastructure, but goes toward retirement,” Jacobson said. “That’s how we’ve decided we can pay the bulk of the retirement funds … it is very small.”

Assessments of property do not change the value of the property itself, only the taxed amount of the property.

“DeKalb looked up new development and property change and considered its goal to make all properties treated equally … the only change is to capture the value of new development that has occurred in the community,” said city Attorney Dean Frieders.

DeKalb encourages community members to attend council meetings and hearings so they can voice concerns for levies and other topics.

“The most direct feedback that the public has is through participation and [attending] public hearings relating to the levy and expressing their viewpoints to their elected officials and city staff … the city of DeKalb is not in particular required to hold a public hearing regarding tax levies, but it does so because it wants to make sure the public has the ability to comment if they have any thoughts or concerns,” Frieders said.

Rates for years to come have not been decided upon and are based on the yearly budget.