Tax Rates Up as Property Values Decline in Winnebago County

ROCKFORD- Nothing is certain in life except death and taxes, but in Winnebago County homeowners are feeling the tax bite more than they expected.

"The current system is broken," said Resident Ken DeCoster.

DeCoster is talking about the 25% loss of assessed property value county-wide in the last four years. 7.3% percent this year alone. Yet property taxes keep on climbing.

"Higher property tax bill and yet the value of the house is down significantly. And I think that's unfair. It’s frustrating."

Those Winnebago County Property Tax bills will be shipped out Friday.

"The base is reduced and so the taxing districts that need to pay for services for tax payers need to raise the rate to cover that difference," explained Winnebago County Treasurer Susan Goral.

According to Winnebago County Supervisor of Assessments Tom Walsh millions were also lost from that base for new senior citizen tax exemptions.

And there's no end in sight for declining property assessments.

"We know that it will continue for 2014," said Walsh. 

The first installment payment is due June 13th. The second installment is due on September 5th.

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