Friday, April 24, 2015

A Letter from the Grant Township Assessor

Earlier this week, my colleague Barney Baxter and I posted stories about the Grant Township Assessor. At issue were apparently conflicting statements made by the Assessor's Office regarding wake restrictions on Wooster Lake.

Yesterday I received an e-mail from the Grant Township Assessor in response to the stories:

Response to Blogs Regarding Grant Township Assessor
I pulled out some relevant passages:
As a reader of your blog, I was surprised to find myself and my office as topics on your site and wanted to correct some of the "factual errors" you've shared with your readers.
In June 2014, the property owner made us aware that he had won in court and sent us documentation confirming that Wooster Lake is not restricted (see documents provided). In September 2014 the property owner appealed his assessment with an appraisal dated 9/23/2014 which claimed restricted water use when in fact the property owner has been disputing this and won his court case clarifying the use of the lake as unrestricted prior to having the appraisal done.
The time frame and court decision are the factor that lead to the two different responses by my office NOT any other implied reason.
The second letter did not "deny the homeowner's tax appeal" it was in response to the appeal filed with the Board of Review in Waukegan disputing the appraisal submitted by the property owner and pointing out differences in the comps that were not adjusted for.
The "documents provided" can be seen by clicking this PDF link:
As I understand the Grant Township Assessor, the two documents in question were produced during different time periods. The first document was written during a time when it was generally accepted that Wooster Lake was governed by no-wake restrictions. The second document, on the other hand, was written after a Court had ruled that Wooster Lake is not subject to no-wake restrictions. This alone accounts for the discrepancy.

If anything I have written, or that has appeared on this blog, is misleading or factually incorrect, I regret the error.

A final note about comments:

Anyone is welcome to post comments here. The standard disclaimers apply. Comments posted here do not necessarily represent the opinions of this blog. The comment section is largely unmoderated. But comments that do not meet a certain threshold of propriety will be removed.


Compulsive Liars in Grant said...

Please. This is more misleading information from the Grant Assessor, where she fails to point out plenty of pertinent information. Lying by omission.

The Grant Office was thanked publicly in February 2006 for its historical contributions towards restrictions on Wooster, thanked by the President of the Tanneron Bay association. Grant does not deny this.

The Grant Assessor admits it has been classifying the property as restricted. Recordings of restrictions still exist at the Recorder's Office.

The State's Attorney opines nobody but a judge can invalidate the recordings. Not the IDNR, not the Sheriff, not the Grant Assessor. Only a judge. What does the Grant Assessor not understand?

The Grant Office ignored that opintion and submitted a not-restricted document in November 2014 at tax hearings. The pictures on this website prove all this.

Where is the judge's court order authorizing this new not-restricted status being drafted and submitted by the Assessor?

The Assessor can't produce one because it doesn't exist.

Jacob Beilhart said...

If one asks the simple question: "Why hasn't the Grant Assessor followed the State's Attorney's kegal advice and pursued a judge's Order if she wants to legally change the lake's properties from restricted to not-restricted?"

Without a judge's Order, the Grant Assessor has put out this meritless non-restricted document in tax property hearings because she knows that opinion she is now claiming isn't legally binding AND she doesn't really want the lake properties to become legally non-restricted.

In short, the Grant Assessor is still lying because a judge hasn't provided such an Order. And she knows it because the State's Attorney has told her.

Anonymous said...

"The first document was written during a time when it was generally accepted that Wooster Lake was governed by no-wake restrictions."

"Generally accepted"? What is that supposed to mean? The Grant Office relied on recorded covenants and restrictions to come to this status of restricted.

What other documents would it have been relying upon in May 2014 to come to this conclusion?

Now they pretend they are invalidating those recordings of restrictions without a Court Order. They are submitting falsified documentation to do it.

This letter from the Assessor is a huge red flag and an admission they are operating without a Court Order, as the State's Attorney has confirmed is required.

It's more smoke and mirrors from the liars in Grant.

Kirk Denz said...

The Grant Assessor claims in her new letter: "In June 2014, the property owner made us aware that he had won in court and sent us documentation confirming Wooster Lake is not restricted."

This is a misrepresentation by the Assessor. It is true my wife and I sued the WLCCA. And it is true the judge did award us with damages.

However the judge DID NOT provide any opinion or order on the status of the restrictions of the lake properties recorded at the county. That absence of a judge's opinion was made clear in the documentation I provided to the Assessor.

The Assessor seems very skilled at telling partial truths to misinform the whole truth.

The whole truth is the State's Attorney has clarified a judge's opinion of the status of the restrictions of the lake properties is what is still today needed. Not the opinion of anyone else.

Townships Are Passé said...

With this nonsense and the nonsense going on at the neighboring Township Assessor Office (Avon), its time to eliminate this position. Township Assessors hold no special power that already aren't granted to state/county officials. In Lake County its 18 layers of redundancy wasting millions of property tax dollar.
Just as disappointing is the silence in Springfield. The Rep for these two townships who likes to boast it's time to consolidate is mum on the issue and of course the township to the south of Grant (Fremont) is home to the infamous State Rep/ Assessor Sullivan. He certainly won't want to give up his lucrative "double-dip"

Anonymous said...

The Assessor claims in her now-online letter a court's order has been provided to her, one that contains a judge's opinion on the restrictive status of the lake properties.

Has the Eye on Lake County asked the Assessor to produce this court order she supposedly has and is relying upon, one that is required per the Lake County States Attorney?

Gotta ask the right questions when lying politicians offer up these letters!

Anonymous said...

Re: Favorable tax assessments Tanneron Bay - the Grant Co assessor in the response states that Tanneron Bay is condos and not homes and thus assessed less - I know what TB is and I know Condos are assessed less. What I stated when I commented was not the level of taxation for a single year - but from 2005 to current the TREND of taxation for those Condos has resulted in a lower or essentially flat property tax - whereas for the same period the surrounding area has seen taxes double! I highly doubt that the condos have remained at the same value from 2005 to current, also I doubt the value of the surrounding homes has doubled.
So a 2005 assessment of $2500 and moving forward through the years - slightly up, slightly down and now 2013 and tax assessment is $2400 for TB.
Local house - 2005 $10000, 2006 $11000, 2007 $14000, etc to 2013 $20000.
My house is now worth 33,000 less than purchase (same as comps in my area) but my tax from 2004 was $4500 and is now $7500 - so even if the Tanneron Bay condo decreased in price they should be paying more in taxes now than in 2005.
How is it that Tanneron Bay condos are assessed same or lower property tax NOW as in 2005?

Anonymous said...

The question not asked is:

"Why is the State's Attorney opining in 2015 that a judge's opinion is still needed while the Assessor is relying on a (small claims) Order made in June 2014?

The State's Attorney knows the Assessor is changing the status of the properties under false pretenses, meaning without going before a judge and without a Declaratory Judgment but the State's Attorney isn't willing to prosecute the crooks blatantly abusing the powers of government.

It's a bright green light from law enforcement for more crime in Grant Township and on Wooster Lake.

Just another Illinois chumbolone said...

Here is how logic and math works at the Grant Assessor office. Like selling a ham in a synogogue, they'll prove to you 2 = 1. Here's how:

Assume a = b, both are non-zero
a2 = ab multiply by a
a2-b2 = ab-b2 subtract b2
(a+b)(a-b) = b(a-b)factor
(a+b) = b subtract (a-b)
(b+b) = b since a = b
2b = b combine like terms
2 = 1 divide by b