Well, the property tax bill is in. Where has the time gone I tell ya. It feels like I was paying this thing yesterday.

So the total assessed value of my house dropped from $78,960 to $68,120; a decrease of $10,840

The land value went up from $14,430 to $15,330; an increase of $900. The building/structure value dropped from $64,530 to $52,790; a decrease of $11,740.

Now, overall, this resulted in a tax bill of $5,495.20. Last year at this time, I had a bill of $6,394.62, so a decrease of $899.42. In my county, Will, the assessed value of properties is figured on an average of the last 3 assessments. So if you add this years plus the last 2 and divide by 3, you get the "assessed value" that I am taxed on; assessments are done every 3 years.

This has pros and cons. One pro is that it tends to keep your property taxes from having major swings in what you owe. A con though would be that your taxes are not calculated based on the assessed market value of your home (which may or may not be acurate to begin with...this is why you appeal, but lets consider it to be "accurate enough")

Now, one thing that did change, which is rather a bummer, is that my tax rate increased from 8.7049% to 8.8461%, an increase of 0.1412%. While this doesn't sound like anything earth shattering, a small increase in these percentages leads to a large increase in cost when you start working with large numbers. This can be seen in my 403b account for instance. In a single day, a change of 0.9% can result in a gain or loss of almost $400.

So the future, I predict, will continue to see a lower assessed value. This means that for somewhere around the next 6 years I should see a tax bill that resembles this years bill. However, to make that happen, my tax rate needs to stay rather constant. Do I believe that will happen? Not a chance.

I predict that the tax rates will increase to accomodate for the decrease in assessed value. The problems will then start becomming a reality 6 years down the road when (I can only suppose) the assessed value of my house will be higher. At that time, the tax rates may be a percentage or more higher than they currently are, and I could be stuck with a higher bill. That is, unless, they then adjust the tax rate to be lower due to an increase in assessed home prices.

It's a fine line that needs to be walked, no doubt. In 6 years, I may not even live in this home any longer. Who knows what the future will bring.