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updated: 5/13/2011 2:14 PM

Sun City divided over tax bills

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  • Model row near the Prairie Lodge at Sun City.

    Model row near the Prairie Lodge at Sun City.

  • Whisper Creek Golf Club at Del Webb's Sun City Huntley.

    Whisper Creek Golf Club at Del Webb's Sun City Huntley.


Discrepancies in the assessed values of homes in the Sun City neighborhood of Huntley have some residents calling for changes to the assessment process.

That's because the Del Webb retirement community is divided between two townships in two counties. Half of the community is assessed by Rutland Township in Kane County, while the other half falls under Grafton Township in McHenry County.

Hermann Faubl, a Rutland Township resident, said the decrease in assessed values for Sun City residents who live in Rutland Township were much lower than decreases for properties in Grafton Township, which has resulted in higher property taxes for Rutland Township residents.

Faubl said Rutland Township Assessor Janet Siers and Grafton Township Assessor William Ottley use different formulas to determine a home's value. That has led to wide differences in the value of the same model of home in Sun City depending on which side of the border it sits.

Faubl said Rutland Township homeowners are being assessed about 15 percent higher than their Grafton Township neighbors.

"We are being over-assessed in Rutland Township because the assessors have a difference of opinion," Faubl said. "Each of them believes they are doing it the right way and the other is doing it the wrong way. We just want them to get on the same page."

Frank Romain, also a Sun City resident in Rutland Township, said Siers uses the three-year market average based on home sales in the last three years. Ottley, on the other hand, used sale prices for the previous year, Romain said.

That means the Rutland Township values will take longer to catch up to current market values, Romain said.

And Ottley said that was the reason his office used current market values to determine assessed values.

"The Board of Review elected to use sales and the theory is 'Why do you have to file a protest to get the assessed value where it should be'," Ottley said. Siers, who did not return calls for comment, used the three-year average. In a letter posted on the assessor's website, Siers said she used the value of each property as of Jan 1, 2010, as well as three years' worth of sales.