Congratulations to Oglesby and Ottawa. You might not have been happy when the Tax Man delivered this year’s bills, but you enjoyed the best overall mix of rising home values and falling rates.
Shaw Media completed an analysis of city-by-city taxes and most municipalities had at least some good news to celebrate. La Salle County and Illinois Valley Community College both trimmed their rates slightly and most communities saw their home values stay roughly flat, with modest increases or decreases of about 1%.
Oglesby and Ottawa, however, have the most to cheer. Oglesby Mayor Dom Rivara’s home increased 2% in value while the city’s tax rate slide 74 cents thanks to a boost to the city’s tax base as well as rate cuts by the city and Oglesby Elementary. He saved $106 off the bottom line.
“It was great,” Rivara said approvingly. “It shows we’re doing the right things and going in the right direction.”
Oglesby Commissioner Tom Argubright said more relief is likely on the way. Green Thumb Industries invested more than $10 million in an expansion of its Oglesby facility and next year will emerge out of the TIF district and fully onto the tax rolls.
“I definitely am very, very excited about that,” Argubright said.
Ottawa is similarly well situated, as rates slid about 36 cents thanks mainly to cuts by the schools. Mayor Dan Aussem, whose home values climbed a modest 1%, joined Rivara in pulling the hat trick of higher values, lower rates and a smaller bottom line, saving $143.
“We are always mindful of the city taxpayers,” Aussem said. “We are encouraged by the overall increase in EAV (equalized assessed valuation) which indicates both new developments and increased property values.”
Similar trends prevailed across Starved Rock Country. In Streator, Mayor Jimmie Lansford will pay about $140 more than last year, but that’s because his home is worth more not because his rates climbed. Streator’s overall tax rate fell about 20 cents thanks mainly to cuts by Bruce Township.
“Bruce Township was a big cut,” Lansford said. “They did some salary adjustments and a few other things to lower the rates.”
La Salle Mayor Jeff Grove will pay the Tax Man an extra $50 this year (his bill inched up to $2,594 from $2,543) but enjoyed a 3% increase in property values and saw rates slide 5½ cents.
“The City is working hard to keep property taxes as low as possible,” Grove said. “This includes budgeting for projects, so we do not have to pay for them by going out for bonds and having to increase property taxes to pay the bonds off. It is nice seeing property vales go up. We have a great City and property owners are doing a nice job improving their properties which makes the neighborhoods even nicer.”
In Peru, new Mayor Ken Kolowski saw his home increase 2% in value, while the total tax rate fell by less than a penny. He’ll pay just $86 more, from last year’s $4,547 to this year’s $4,631.
And in Mendota, Mayor David Boelk’s home value was flat. Rates fell 14 cents thanks to cuts by the city and township. Boelk’s overall tax bill slid $91 from $6,496 to $6,405.
Utica Mayor David Stewart saw his home value slide by 1% with an overall rate decrease of 3 cents. He saves $46. In Marseilles, rates climbed about 8 cents but Mayor Jim Hollenbeck’s rising home value largely offset the rate hike.
Source: The Daily Chronicle