Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Session scheduled for Aug. 29 will help taxpayers seeking help with reducing property tax bills.
A message from Oak Park Township Assessor Ali ElSaffar: Oak Park property owners concerned about their property taxes have an opportunity to do something about next year’s tax bills. According to Oak Park Township Assessor Ali ElSaffar, Oak Park property owners can appeal their 2012 assessed values with the Cook County Board of Review through September 4. The township is offering residents two ways to get help in filing an appeal. The first option for residents seeking help with appeals is to attend a meeting with the Board of Review on August 29. At the meeting, representatives from the office of Board of Review Commissioner Larry Rogers, Jr. will explain the appeal process and help residents file appeals. The meeting will take place at 7…
Monday, October 3, 2011
Tax bills slated to arrive this week.
Monday, October 3, 2011
Editor's note: Oak Park Township Ali ElSaffar sent along this letter, along with a Q & A on the increase in the tax levy and what it means for taxpayers. The second installment of 2010 property tax bills will arrive in the mailboxes of Oak Park residents in the first week of October, and will be due November 1. Oak Park Township Assessor Ali ElSaffar advises Oak Park residents to carefully review their tax bills to be certain that they have received all property tax exemptions to which they are entitled. “Iftaxpayers are eligible for Homeowner, Senior Citizen, or other exemptions but have not received them,they should call my office as soon as possible,” ElSaffar said. “With proper documentation, we can obtain a lower, alternate tax bill …
District 97 referendum, other tax increases mean higher bills for Oak Park residents.
Monday, October 3, 2011
Editor's note: This letter is the second installment from Oak Park Township Assessor Ali ElSaffar. Click here for information on how and where Oak Parkers can pay their tax bills. A successful referendum for the elementary school district, combined with ordinary tax increases from the other units of local government, have led to a 7.2% increase in Oak Park tax levies over last year. But these tax levy increases are not spread evenly among Oak Park properties. Because of a state-mandated decline in the value of the homeowner exemption, tax increases for most Oak Park homeowners are greater than the 7.2% increase in levies, whereas tax increases for other properties are less than 7.2%. State law restricts most local governments from …
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
New bill would detail the rules governing complex ballot language — and potentially avoid future legal tiffs.
Now that two lawsuits aiming to invalidate the referenda tax increases in Oak Park and Wilmette have been tossed out of Cook County Court, new proposed legislation could clear up the rules for what voters read on ballots at the voting booth. Rules for ballot language have been unclear about the inclusion of the state’s equalizer, a number applied in Cook County to adjust the county’s assessment level for property taxes. For Patch's explainer on limiting rate increases and ballot language — and to see the differences on the impact the state's equalizer would make on property tax bills — click here. The omission of the equalizer on ballots facing Oak Park and Wilmette voters was grounds for lawsuits filed by Taxpayers United of America, an…
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Looking to appeal the assessment of your Oak Park property? Here's how.
The following FAQ is courtesy of Oak Park Township Assessor Ali ElSaffar. On May 24, the Cook County Assessor’s office mailed reassessment notices to all Oak Park property owners.Reflecting continued weakness in the housing market, the assessed value for Oak Park homeowners declined by an average of 10%. It would be easy to conclude that the declining assessed value will correspond to a decline in property tax bills, but as explained below, this is not the case. Can I appeal my new assessed value? Yes. The Cook County Assessor’s office will be accepting appeals from Oak Park property owners through June 24, 2011. Homeowners needing help filing appeals can call the Oak Park Township Assessor’s office at (708) 383-8005 for an appeal …
Deadline to file an appeal draws closer.
Though the assessed value of Oak Park residential properties declined an average of 10 percent in 2011, local property taxes won't follow suit, according to a public reminder from Oak Park Township Assessor Ali ElSaffar. Why aren't there parallels between the two? ElSaffar said it's because the levies of local government are increasing. In 2010, Oak Park property owners paid $153 million. This year, they're expected to pay $163 million, largely because of the April 5 District 97 referendum. (Of course, a lawsuit aiming to invalidate the referendum results is still winding its way through Cook County Circuit Court, with an anti-tax group seeking to block it and referendum supporters looking to uphold the decision of voters, who approved the…
Monday, March 21, 2011
Joint statement addresses calculation kerfuffle.
Editor's note: Oak Park Elementary School District 97 spokesman Chris Jasculca issued this statement, co-authored by Oak Park Township Assessor Ali ElSaffar and District 97 board president Peter Traczyk, to Oak Park-River Forest Patch on Sunday. A calculation on District 97's referendum ballot question regarding the cost of the referendum for homeowners has sparked debate among tax experts. According to bond counsel for District 97, the calculation appearing on the ballot complies with state law. The ballot calculation is being questioned by Oak Park Township Assessor Ali ElSaffar. ElSaffar states that the tax impact calculation on the ballot underestimates the referendum’s cost to taxpayers because it does not account for the state …
Friday, March 18, 2011
Wrinkle in ballot question calculation causes confusion.
With the April 5 election just weeks away, support and opposition camps are lining up and taking sides in District 97's multi-million dollar referendum question that would raise property taxes but save dozens of teacher jobs and school programs. But a technical snafu with the ballot question's wording — one that a top tax official says dramatically underestimates the impact on taxpayer wallets — is raising new concerns about the referendum's validity. Ali ElSaffar, Oak Park's Township assessor, said language in the ballot question does not factor in the state's equalizer, a number the Illinois Department of Revenue determines each year to ensure that Cook County assessments are in line with assessments from across the state. That means …
Friday, March 11, 2011
Rounding up the best in local news.
We can't be everywhere and neither can you. Our "Week in Review" is designed to bring you up to speed on local news in Oak Park and River Forest. Here goes: Late check-in: The controversial hotel-condo-retail project at Lake Street and Forest Avenue remains on hold because of the slumping economy, according to the project's developer. Oak Park's Village Board on Monday granted developers until December to secure a building permit. Are there real Oak Park rentals on Craigslist? A ChicagoNow blogger doesn't think so. (via Homeward Bound) RIF riff: Reduction-in-force memos went out to more than 50 Oak Park Elementary School District teachers recently, TribLocal reports. The jobs could be saved if voters approve the April 5 referendum …