Winnebago County property tax bill delays could impact the community

WINNEBAGO, Ill. (WIFR) - After weeks of waiting, the Winnebago County Clerk’s Office has received the property tax multiplier from the state of Illinois. 23 News spoke with the county clerk and the Rockford Park District about the impact the delayed tax bills could have on the county.

"Property taxes make up around 50 percent of the park district’s budget," said Rockford Park District Executive Director Jay Sandine.

Without those funds, Sandine believes many programs would be cut and the parks wouldn't be as well maintained.

"That's what funds the youth programs, that what helps subsidize facility operations and maintains the parks. If you can imagine those things not being there or being cut, those things could have large consequence not only on the park district but on the entire community," Sandine said.

Right now that’s a possibility because the Illinois Department of Revenue fell behind getting the county the property tax multiplier by May 1.

Last year the state was able to turn around the process in 16 days this year it's been on day 40 when we were able to hear back," said Winnebago County Clerk Lori Gummow.

But Sandine says the park district isn't at risk yet. It runs on a calendar year budget and the first six months of the year are covered by a fund balance made up of last year’s revenue.

"So we have not ever had this experience before where those tax revenues are coming in late. But we are confident that it will come in by the middle or end of June. If not we have a lot of other issues to start thinking about," Sandine said.

On Friday, the county did receive the property tax multiplier from the state.

"Our office has all of our paperwork complete and we handed it off to the treasures office. So, the treasures office is diligently working on getting that information mailed out," Gummow said.

The treasurer's office says those bills should be sent out within the next two weeks and once taxpayers receive the bill they will have 30 days from to pay it.