Friday, May 15, 2009

Peoria County Board of Review

To All County Board Members:

As large property owners in Peoria County, we join with other local property
owners in objecting to the very substantial increases the current review
board has placed on area properties. Having been in the Peoria real estate
market for over 40 years, we see no sound justification for the huge
percentage of increases. As evidence of the size of increased valuations,
we have enclosed a schedule that reflects the percentage of increases placed
on several of our properties.

Who to hire and fire is your job, but far too many good citizens and
business owners who invest in this community are at odds with the valuation
placed upon their properties, and "some action" on your part is required to
rectify the current situation we are experiencing. Therefore, we ask that
you take this matter very seriously before we see further deterioration in
the local economy due to unjustified taxation of real estate.


David S. Joseph

This is typical of the dozens of phone calls, letters, emails, etc., not to mention the dozens of people who have appeared before the full board or the Tax/Economic Development Committee over the past year or more.

Last night the full board voted almost unanimously to retain Nancy Horton and Gary Shadid for another 3 years on the tax Board of Review. Committee Chairman Mayer lent his support for their retention, $40,000 a year, part time, as did County Board Chairman O'Neill and a statement from Bill Atkins of the States Attorney's Office, "if it is the arbitrary assignment of values, then we have had an arbitrary Board of Review for about 30 years as these attacks are nothing new".

In my studied opinion, this is hardly a correct statement as complaints show a compelling amount of discrepancies in purchase, sales and believed proven (by the protesters) actual values over the past two years.

The County Administrator was quoted in the JS on May 14, in an article mis- labeled "Board of Review releases proposed changes", corrected the next day in the JS, as the proposed changes came from our administrator working with the B of R., stating in the 5 page document sent to all county board member, that "only township assessors can apply values to individual properties, that each case is decided on its merit regarding equity and fair market value and that a township assessor may be able to correct an assessed value".

One county board member had their personal residence property tax halved by asking for a visit from their township assessor. The same township assessor's assistant told me that the township assessor couldn't help me and that I had to take up what I thought was an unfair assessment, directly to the B. of R.


The administrators letter also said that "questions may be directed to "Democrat" Dave Ryan, the Supervisor of Assessments for the county".

Whatever the problems are, the county must have a system that is fair to all property tax payers knowing that not all people will be satisfied with their assessment.

Note I said a fairer, more easily understood process and perhaps a change in the the way the state regulates the tax assessment of all properties.

I do not believe the nagging questions hovering over property values and property taxes, will go away without some considerable changes wherever the changes need to be made.


Anonymous said...

Steve J Weibring writes

the comments are mis directed, isn't the problem peoria does not know how to live in their budget, but waste tons of money on worthless things that don't work out because peoria always has to return to ripping off the taxpayer

wreckless spending eventually catches up duh 10 million deficient

why not talk about useless workers of peoria about firing incompentent people instead of taxing more

Anonymous said...

Steve Weibring writes this steve

you know like wasting 640,000 of public money in phyicogical champaign to force the musuem through so the raise taxes to recover 640,000

Anonymous said...

Mike Tucker writes so many of us do not have the millions and millions of dollars diana vespa makes, so take it personally we can't pay more taxes for a bunch of crap we can live without

Karen said...

It's amazing. But I know several families, friends, acquaintances as well as friends of friends who are either moving to locals such as Morton or Pekin, or are considering moving out of state or are considering putting their homes up for sale in order to move out of Peoria for locals not yet known.

Anonymous said...

Geno Meints

Mr Widmer I have a question.

If peoria has 10 million deficiet, are their bonds rating with insurance of aa3 (peoria airport) a real rating or an exgagerated.

Ten million seems a awfull big amount to geno

Merle Widmer said...


I can't answer your question about the bond rating for the city as I am only a citizen of the City of Peoria and not on the City Council but the the County Board. You should talk to your City Council representative.

The greater the debt and risk to finance the running of a city and the ability to meet a these debt payments on a timely basis, I believe are the major factors in determing lending risks and bond ratings.

When I sold my business in 1992, my company had a 3A1 D and B rating which was the highest rating for a small business of $10 million sales. As an elected county board official, I have dedicated myself to financial stability.

While the county has suffered in decreased revenues during the recession, we are still in a better financial position than almost and maybe all, public bodies in Peoria City and Peoria County.

I hope to continue to be a strong factor in keeping our positive financial position without putting more tax stress on an already, in my opinion, overtaxed community with a lot more to come from sources beyond my one voice and one vote, control

Anonymous said...

Hundreds of homeowners flow into the Supervisor of Assessments/Board of Review office each year. While the strong majority of property owners do not recieve any adjustment on their taxes, I think it is extremely unfair to point any fingers at Supervisor of Assessments Dave Ryan. This man works harder than any Department official, elected or appointed. He is the first one in the office each day and the last to leave. He is at the front counter helping citizens several times a day. Meanwhile, other County officials hide in their offices only until they are called out by County Board members and forced to return calls and/or resolve issues. Our elected officials are paid rediculous salaries each year to mingle in the halls with Courthouse employees and take cigarette breaks multiple times per hour. Not to mention I'm not sure any of them put in 40 hour work weeks. If change is what you seek, look no further in overhauling Department officials, with the exception of Mr. Ryan. There is no room in the budgets to grant more than 3.5% raise this year, yet our own County Administrator recieves a $10,000 a year raise out of fear by our County Board of losing him. The employees who pour out blood, sweat, and tears to keep this County running have an average salary around $35,000. It's about time to dump some of these $90,000 salaries which sit around and conduct personal business all day and give some dollars back to the overworked and underpaid employees of Peoria County Courthouse.

Merle Widmer said...

Steve J. Weibring emails me that the comments on this site are not his comments and someone is using his name to make comments on my blog site and others.

I ask Steve to make a commemt on this site to correct statements that were made in his name.

To ananonymous, I have no doubt Dave Ryan is a hard worker.