Residential property values in Champaign County have increased an average of 18% since the triennial update in 2016, according to county Auditor Karen Bailey. While residential property values are up, agricultural property values are down 33%.
Bailey posted a Facebook message to alert property owners that “home sale prices have been trending UP county-wide” likely resulting in higher property taxes that many will be paying next year. And post cards and letters are being sent to property owners to let them know the tentative updated values of their properties.
“I usually don’t send notifications, but when you have an 18% increase, people need to know,” she said. “My house went up, too.
“Most people want to know what the tax impact will be,” she said, but explained that won’t be determined until the end of the year, after voters have their say about local issues on Nov. 5 and the county receives tax rates from the state.
“I can say that taxes for residential home owners will increase, but not at the same rate as their value increase,” she said. “All taxing entities (such as schools, local governments, fire districts, libraries) can expect increased tax revenue on the inside (non-voted) millage from the increased values and new construction.”
These tentative updated values were derived from the 2019 revaluation of the county’s 26,007 properties. Bailey said the state mandates property values be reviewed at least every six years. The county Auditor’s Office contracted with Appraisal Research Corporation, Findlay, to do the reappraisals.
“It’s a long process,” Bailey said of the work started nearly two years ago. She said the value is based on many factors. The year structures were built, the quality of structures and the number of rooms in structures are a few of these factors.
She said building exteriors are examined, property owners are contacted about remodeling permits and such that have been issued and the county Auditor’s Office works with the county Building Regulations Department and Engineer’s Office, as well as with municipal and township governments to track changes on properties. She said appraisers do not enter structures.
Also, the county contracts with Pictometry International, based in Henrietta, New York, for aerial views that reveal new and demolished structures since the last audit.
Tentative property values were sent to the state Department of Taxation in July and were approved. Bailey said information the state department has collected sometimes results in a different opinion and supersedes the county’s determination.
Disagree with stated value?
“The new valuations are called tentative at this point,” Bailey stressed. “The final ones will be submitted to the state before the end of October. They are tentative because we are still open to making changes. Anyone can contact the Auditor’s Office’s real estate department for information on their values or they can schedule an appointment with the appraisal team on Oct. 2, 3 or 4. The next step after that is to file a Board of Revision complaint next year.”
To schedule an appointment for early October, contact the county Auditor’s Office at 937-484-1600.
Bailey said the 18% average increase in residential values is due to properties selling at higher prices over the last three years. She said when a property owner says a house has been valued at too high a rate, a question sometimes asked is: “If you were going to put (your home) up for sale, what would you put it up for?” She said this sometimes makes people rethink the positions.
While most residential home owners are receiving post cards listing the updated value of their property, owners of agricultural or multiple parcels are receiving letters. Farmers and other land owners in the Current Agricultural Use Valuation program will receive information about the 100% market value of their land as well as the CAUV value of each parcel, Bailey said.
The CAUV program allows farmers to be taxed based on the value in agriculture, rather than the full market value, resulting in a lower tax bill in most cases.
Information about the CAUV program can be obtained from the county Auditor’s Office.
Kathy Fox can be reached at 937-652-1331, ext. 1773.