Multipliers likely to increase property tax bills in St. Clair County

News-DemocratApril 11, 2014 

AP GRAPHICS BANK

Many homeowners in St. Clair County are likely to see their property tax bills increase this summer because of a state formula raising the value of homes up to 5 percent.

Boards of Review in St. Clair and Madison counties have approved so-called "property tax multipliers" for each township, which are intended to correct undervalued property.

Multipliers will increase the value of property in 15 of 22 townships in St. Clair County this year compared with only four townships last year. In 2013, the townships of O'Fallon, Englemann, Mascoutah and Sugarloaf had multipliers. Englemann and Mascoutah townships will again see their property values rise slightly this year.

Property values in Sugarloaf Township will fall more than 8 percent this year because of a multiplier. And O'Fallon Township, which has endured regular multipliers increasing property values in the past, will see property values lower 1.6 percent this year.

A multiplier will drop property values in Belleville Township about 3.4 percent this year, on top of a 2.8 percent drop in 2013.

The value of homes are based upon a three-year average of sales and do not fluctuate with new assessments of homes by county assessors, St. Clair County Assessor Jennifer Gomric-Minton said.

Only one of the 24 townships in Madison County received a multiplier increasing property values this year. A multiplier will raise property values about 1.2 percent in Moro Township in Madison County.

A property's assessed value along with tax rates from local taxing bodies, such as school districts, determine a resident's property tax bill.

For example, a 5.3 percent multiplier was approved for property in New Athens. If tax rates stay the same in that village, the multiplier will raise the tax bill of a $100,000 home about $117 this summer.

Canteen and East St. Louis townships received multipliers of more than 4 percent. Prairie Du Long and Fayetteville townships received multipliers increasing property values more than 3 percent.

State law sets a formula used to compare the assessed value of homes with the actual sale of property in a township. Farm land, foreclosures and homes sold at auction or to relatives are excluded from the state formula.

When homes sell for more than they are assessed, a multiplier increases the assessment of all property in the township. When homes sell for less than their assessed value, a multiplier lowers the value of property in the township.

Residents in East St. Louis and Centreville townships may see the biggest difference in their tax bills due to multipliers when comparing 2013 to 2014. Last year, a multiplier dropped the value of East St. Louis property by nearly 9 percent. This year a multiplier will raise property values by 4.9 percent.

Likewise, a multiplier decreased property values by more than 15 percent last year in Centreville Township. This year a multiplier will raise property values by about 1 percent.

The deadline for residents in Madison County to protest their property's assessment is April 18. In St. Clair County, cards detailing a property's assessment will be sent to homeowners April 17. St. Clair County residents have 30 days from then to protest.

Contact reporter Daniel Kelley at dkelley@bnd.com or 618-239-2501.

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