Property taxes are an imperfect way to tax people.
Just how unfair property taxes can be was on display earlier this week in the story of Tom Bychowski. Bychowski of Spring Grove had been underassessed on his home and 13 acre property for years. When the township assessor finally fixed the problem, Bychowski saw his tax bill climb from about $5,892 to more than $19,000.
The huge increase irked Bychowski. The fact that his assessments had been low for so many years irked most everyone else. As is normally the case with property taxes, no one was happy. Although there is an appeal process if someone believes they are being overtaxed, no one is going to appeal an assessment that is low.
Mayberry’s office did not assess Bychowski’s property. Property in Illinois is assessed by local township assessors. Mayberry has no direct supervisory power over those individuals. Her office can attempt to direct an assessor’s attention to a particular parcel, or can raise other concerns, but the assessors are independently elected.