Last fall, the St. Clair County Assessor’s Office reassessed properties in O’Fallon. You may have seen employees from the assessor’s office driving around town and performing site inspections. The reassessment process is complete, and by now, all property owners in O’Fallon should have received and been able to review their new property assessments.
The city of O’Fallon does not assess property. Property assessments are performed solely by the county. Nevertheless, I want to take this chance to help explain assessments and how they affect your property tax.
An assessed value is the dollar value assigned to a property to measure applicable taxes. Assessed valuation determines the value of a property for tax purposes and takes comparable home sales and inspections into consideration. The assessed value is a percentage of the fair market value and takes into account the overall quality of the property, property values, square footage, home features and market conditions.
The amount of property taxes you pay is made up of two components: the assessed value of your property and the tax rates set by your individual taxing authorities, such as the city, school, county, township, and fire districts. The St. Clair County Assessor is required by law to establish the fair market value of property as of Jan. 1 of the reassessment year.
Taxing authorities set their own rates according to their budgetary needs and voter approval. If property values in their district go down, then taxing authorities may choose to increase their rates to make up for the loss in value. If property values go up, like they have in O’Fallon, taxing bodies may choose to lower their rates.
Each taxing body sets its own tax rate and submits them to the county. The county then combines the rates and determines the overall tax rate applied to each property. Although the city of O’Fallon has lowered its tax rate to the lowest it has been since 2012, other taxing bodies in O’Fallon may have raised their rates. Therefore, the overall tax rate for an O’Fallon property owner could increase.
I agree that property assessments and property tax calculations can be very confusing. As such, I want to invite everyone to the city of O’Fallon’s Finance Committee Meeting on Monday, June 25, 2018, starting at 5:30 p.m. at the O’Fallon Public Safety Facility (285 N. Seven Hills Road). Jennifer Gomric-Minton, St. Clair County assessor, will be the guest speaker, and her topic will be the assessment policy and appeals. I highly encourage anyone who is interested in learning more about their property tax assessment and how to file an appeal to attend this meeting.
As residents of O’Fallon, you should always be able to reach out to your elected officials and ask questions about what is happening in O’Fallon. Having open communications is important to me and something I care very deeply about. Thank you for reading, and please remember, my door is always open.