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12/14/89 Lawrence F. Dietz Et Al., v. the Property Tax Appeal

December 14, 1989

LAWRENCE F. DIETZ ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-APPELLEES

v.

THE PROPERTY TAX APPEAL BOARD, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT (BOARD OF REVIEW OF JACKSON COUNTY, DEFENDANT). -- LAWRENCE

F. DIETZ ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-APPELLEES

v.

THE PROPERTY TAX APPEAL BOARD, DEFENDANT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FOURTH DISTRICT

(Board of Review of Jackson County, Defendant-Appellant)

547 N.E.2d 1367, 191 Ill. App. 3d 468, 138 Ill. Dec. 746 1989.IL.1946

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Sangamon County; the Hon. Simon L. Friedman, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE McCULLOUGH delivered the opinion of the court. GREEN and STEIGMANN, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE MCCULLOUGH

This appeal concerns section 20e of the Revenue Act of 1939 (Act) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 120, par. 501e). The Jackson County Board of Review (County Board) applied a multiplier to determine the 1985 assessments for property owned by the plaintiffs, Lawrence F. Dietz and Herman W. Dietz. On review, the decision of the County Board was affirmed by the Property Tax Appeal Board (Board), after the Board found the County Board's decision followed the plain meaning of the Act and effectuated legislative intent. On administrative review, the circuit court of Sangamon County reversed the Board, finding its decision to be contrary to the plain meaning of section 20e. For the reasons that follow, we reverse the circuit court and affirm the Board's decision.

Section 20e of the Act dictates that the "increase or decrease in the aggregate equalized assessed value of all farmland in any county" for 1984 and 1985 is held to 10% of the previous year's figures. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 120, par. 501e.) Plaintiffs are owners of eight parcels of farmland in DeSoto, in Jackson County, Illinois. After Jackson County assessing officials determined the preliminary assessments for 1985, a multiplier of 1.6654 was applied to plaintiffs' parcels after assessing officials determined the 1985 aggregate equalized assessed value for all farmland in Jackson County, $10,293,388, decreased in excess of 10% from the 1984 aggregate assessment, $19,046,521. The 1985 preliminary assessments and those as adjusted by the multiplier are as follows:

Preliminary Assessments

Assessments with Multiplier

Parcel I 776 1294.00

Parcel II 172 288.00

Parcel III 1653 2754.00

Parcel IV 722 1204.00

Parcel V 1119 1864.00

Parcel VI 470 783.00

Parcel VII 3217 5358.00

Parcel VIII 886 1476.00

On January 21, 1986, plaintiffs appealed the assessments to the Board. Multiple parties from different counties raising the same issues joined the plaintiffs' appeal to the Board and agreed to be bound by the decision of the Board. Plaintiffs argued the County Board compared the wrong figures in determining the 10% limitation. Plaintiffs contended the proposed average equalized assessed per-acre figures, as certified by the Department of Revenue (Department) to the County's assessing officials, are compared for the 10% limitation. The provision for these proposed figures is found in subsection (3) of section 20e. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 120, par. 501e(3).

On December 24, 1986, the Board affirmed the decision of the County Board. The Board first compared the figures relied upon by the plaintiffs in determining the percentage change from 1984 to 1985 with the figures relied upon by the Board. The Board considered such figures for each county concerned in the appeal before it. The percentage change from 1984 to 1985 is shown on the following table:

County 1984 Average Value 1985 Average Value Change

Certified by Certified by

Department Department

Carroll 186 201 8.1%

Cass 143 153 7.0%

Clinton 72 74 2.8%

Du Page 176 189 7.4%

Franklin 50 50 0.0%

Iroquois 183 197 7.7%

Jackson 45 46 2.2%

Jefferson 48 48 ...


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