UPDATE, 6/29/21 (6:30 p.m.)
According to a press release from Champaign County Executive Darlene Kloeppel, assessment appeals will continue to be accepted from July 1 through September 10.
The news release said there may be a delay in response time due to the vacancies on the Board of Review.
“Phone calls, emails and decisions will be answered or processed when new Board of Review members are appointed.”
Assessment appeals can be mailed to or dropped off at the Supervisor of Assessment Office at the Brookens Administrative Center in Urbana.
Kloeppel is taking applications to fill all three vacancies. Board eligibility requires experience and training in property appraisal and property tax administration, according to the press release sent Tuesday evening.
ORIGINAL, 6/29/21 (1:30 p.m.)
CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — All three members of the Champaign County Board of Review called it quits in the last week.
This means there’s no one left sitting on the partisan board, which handles residents’ challenges to their property assessments. Each year there’s a 10-week period where challenges to assessments are heard, and Thursday, July 1, marks the start of that period.
Elizabeth Burgener-Patton, who chairs the Board of Review, resigned Monday. Before her, board members Paul Sailor and Brian Rector also stepped down in the last month, according to Champaign County Executive Darlene Kloeppel.
It’s Kloeppel’s responsibility to nominate members to the review board. She told WCIA the number of appeals in 2020 was double that of the busiest year on record, and this year is looking similar. The three-member group handles both commercial and residential appeals. Kloeppel said the commercial appeals went up substantially in 2020.
She said she’s talking to a couple of candidates about the openings, but the process will take at least until the end of the month, likely longer.
So, what happens with those assessment challenges in the meantime?
“Well, we’re not sure what’s going to happen,” Kloeppel said. “That’s a question we have the State’s Attorney looking into, and I’m looking into what the laws are regarding that.”
“We’re not sure if we can actually accept appeals from people. There’s no one to give them to,” she added.
WCIA obtained a copy of the letter Burgener-Patton addressed to Kloeppel Monday.
According to Kloeppel and Champaign County Board Vice Chair Steve Summers, Burgener-Patton requested an about 100% increase in her annual stipend. Kloeppel said the request for $70,000 a year was fair, adding Burgener-Patton’s workload had become at least a full-time job.
The Champaign County Board approved a portion of that request last week, according to Kloeppel and Summers. Summers says the resignation, after the fact, was unexpected.
Burgener-Patton declined to comment.
Summers was unsure why Brian Rector stepped down. According to he and Kloeppel, Rector was just appointed in February.
Over the phone, Summers told WCIA, “In my opinion, if you sign up for a position, you follow through.”
Paul Sailor hasn’t been re-appointed to the Board of Review since 2019. According to Kloeppel, until resigning, he was on the board on an interim basis until a candidate became available.
“There was no one qualified yet to take Paul’s role,” she said.
Summers said he doesn’t understand the two-year delay in bringing in someone in Sailor’s place.
WCIA was unable to reach Rector and Sailor for comment.
All three resignations were effective immediately.
Anyone nominated by Kloeppel to be on the board would first have to pass a state test and then be confirmed by a vote of the County Board. Kloeppel said the first chance to take the test would be on July 28.