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Make sure you’re getting exemptions

To the editor:
    Madison County property tax assessments are popping up in area newspapers. Owners who want to appeal the amount have a short window to do so.
    As Treasurer, I don’t determine the assessments or set tax rates — I simply collect property taxes.
    People call the Treasurer’s Office to ask about their assessments, usually right after tax bills arrive in the mail. What many property owners don’t realize is the assessment is done the year prior.
    Currently, assessments are being published. If homeowners disagree with the values, now is the time to appeal. They have 30 days from the date of publication.
    The Chief of County Assessments lists publication dates by township on the county’s website. By law, township assessors are required to view every property in their jurisdiction once every four years.
    The quadrennial assessment for Leef, Alhambra, Hamel, Fort Russell and Wood River townships will be completed this year and property owners will receive a notice in the mail. Forms to appeal taxes can be found on the county’s website.
    And … make sure you receive all your exemptions. Many seniors (65 or older) forget to apply for the senior homestead exemption, which must be done annually.
    The senior homestead exemption is $5,000. For example, if your tax rate is 7 percent, that’s $350; if your tax rate is 10 percent, it’s $500. Either way, that’s a lot of money to leave on the table.
    Please call your local assessor or the county assessor for more information.

Madison County Treasurer

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