COLES COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — The county board has appointed a permanent Supervisor of Assessments.
The board voted unanimously to appoint Denise Shores. Kelly Munyon had served as an interim supervisor for 60 days this summer, following Karen Biddle’s retirement.
At a board meeting Tuesday night, Munyon highlighted multiple issues she discovered during her time on the board, including certain properties receiving tax exemptions that aren’t eligible. She also talked about the county’s switch from a computer system in 2011, but said some properties are still in the old program, which means they are being taxed at a different rate than everyone else in the new system. Munyon also said some single parcel properties are being split into two parcels, which means the owner is claiming more exemptions than they would have otherwise been allotted.
“This board needs to be more transparent,” Munyon said during public comment. “And when you ignore people and they ask for answers to things, it looks like you’re hiding something. You need to be more transparent. The taxpayers and citizens of Coles County have hired you to do a job.”
Two years ago, the county began reassessing commercial and industrial properties for taxing purposes. This was the first time the properties had been reassessed in 16 years, although state law requires reassessments every four years.
A group of business owners have accused Coles County of disproportionately taxing business owners. They spoke at Tuesday night’s meeting as well.
” It never should have come to this point, should have been resolved a long while ago,” James Di Naso said. “We’ve had to file lawsuits. We’ve had to provide evidence and unfortunately we are in the same spot that we were two-and-a-half years ago and we have not moved an inch.”
UPDATE: Coles County Board Chair Mike ZuHone has provided the following statement in response to last night’s meeting:
“As a Board, we are aware there are issues facing the assessment office. The newly appointed supervisor is also keenly aware of the immense and complicated effort it is going to take to resolve those issues. It is unfortunate that the hostility directed toward the Board and our States Attorney is an ongoing scenario, but we, the Board, are working diligently to serve the citizens of Coles County. “