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Geneva Schools Will Fight Tax Appeals of Geneva Commons, Best Buy

"Successful reduction petitions by these two corporations would result in a nearly $550,000 refund from the School District."

School District 304 will fight two corporate property-tax appeals that school officials say would result in nearly $550,000 in lost revenue to the district.

At its Tuesday-night meeting, the Board of Education authorized district attorneys to intervene in the Property Tax Appeal Board proceedings of Invesco Realty Advisors and Best Buy.

Investco Realty was the owner of the Geneva Commons shopping center when assessed valuations for 2012 were set. LaSalle Investment Management bought the Geneva shopping center in default for $120 million in September of this year.

According to School Board resolutions passed Tuesday night, owners of the Investco property located at 602 and 1102 Commons Drive and the Best Buy property at 1876 S. Randall Road have "appealed the decision of the Kane County Board of Review to the Property Tax Appeal Board of the State of Illinois."

The resolutions call for the School District's legal counsel, Whitt Law LLC, to file a "Request to Intervene" in the proceedings and to represent the School District before the Property Tax Appeal Board. 

In its "For the Record" report of Tuesday's School Board meeting, the district said "successful reduction petitions by these two corporations would result in a nearly $550,000 refund from the School District."

On Tuesday night, School Board member Bill Wilson said he was in favor of the appeals because some of the burden for the lost revenue would be placed on the shoulders of residential property owners.

"I feel it’s important that we do our best to appeal these and try to reduce those reductions so that our homeowners are not hit with the costs," he said. 
Bob McQuillan October 16, 2013 at 07:35 PM
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Geneva Commons & Best Buy have nothing to lose by appealing except for attorney fees. The upside is that they save $550,000. On the other hand, Geneva homeowners have a lot to lose. Since they are appealing the 2012 assessment, the $550,000 has probably already been budgeted in the school district's plan. And make no mistake the loss in revenue, if there is any, will be paid for by the homeowners. Homeowners are also responsible for the district's attorney fees. This problem could continue for several years since assessed values have continued to fall. Because assessments are calculated on a 3-year rolling average, the earliest assessments will increase is in the assessment year 2016. The Greenfields retirement community was just recently completed and I would not be surprised to see them appeal their future assessments. It is my opinion, when you factor in scheduled increases in debt service repayment, the worst is yet to come on school district property taxes. Hang on, it is going to be a wild ride!
Jeff Ward October 17, 2013 at 09:11 AM
Not only that Bob, but this is exactly why you don't give large corporations tax breaks - as Mayor Burns provided the Commons - becuase, as Sears has done in Hoffman Estates, they'll fight tooth and nail to keep that status quo. No business is going to come into a location where they will fail! So the sooner city councils learn to stop competing with each other at the expense of the taxpayers the better off we'll all be.
Jeff Ward October 17, 2013 at 09:13 AM
As another aside, just as I predicted Dominick's demise right here on Patch 2 years ago, Best Buy (or perhaps Barnes and Noble) is next. Thus, D304 needs to understand that money is going away even if they win this one.
Mike October 17, 2013 at 09:58 AM
Except the money won't go away, Jeff. D304 will just hammer the homeowners harder and harder to make up for it.
Jon Azavedo October 17, 2013 at 01:04 PM
Sounds like the school board knows that these properties are over-taxed. Their appeal will point to vacancies, employment income depletion, all the things the school board should recognize in reducing SPENDING. This is why school boards are a joke-a bunch of attorneys, gadfly's and suzie homemakers making business decisions.
Bob McQuillan October 17, 2013 at 03:00 PM
Spend an hour and watch the linked video of a recent Geneva Finance Committee meeting where the Geneva & Blackberry Township Assessors addressed the committee. They explain how the assessment process works and when the school board will have a good estimate of what the district's Equalized Assessed Value will be. Because of the huge debt service repayments, the only answer to our problems is to spend reserves and make cuts to the budget. http://www.genevataxfacts.org/School-Board-and-Geneva-Tax-Facts-Meetings/10-10-2013.html The video is eye opening.

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