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400 Glen Ellyn condo units incorrectly assessed

Owners of nearly 400 units in Glen Ellyn’s Raintree Condos received inflated property assessments because of a clerical error by the Milton Township Assessor’s office, according to a township official.

Instead of seeing a 2.2 percent increase in property values, which are used to determine tax bills, owners received notices that their properties jumped 22 percent in value.

Assessor Bob Earl said Wednesday the mistake has already been corrected, but homeowners will not receive notice of it until March when the DuPage County Board of Review completes its process.

Earl said he plans to meet in the near future with the homeowners association of the complex, which is located on Park Boulevard, north of the College of DuPage, to explain how the mistake occurred and how it is being corrected.

“I’ll take the arrows on this,” he said.

The clerical mistake occurred in mid-November, just before the township completed its calculations.

“We closed the books and sent them to the county the next day,” he said.

A week or so later calls of complaints from homeowners starting coming into his office and the mistake was discovered.

“So many people were upset by the things that came in the mail that they started calling the assessor’s office,” said Bill Frerichs whose one-bedroom condo was incorrectly assessed.

Earl said it was a simple clerical error that caused the furor among unit owners.

“At the last minute we decided to make a 2.2 percent adjustment (in property values for the whole complex) but 22 percent was typed in,” Earl said.

Since receiving those complaints, Earl said his office has provided letters to some homeowners stipulating the correct value. Others have filed appeals. Whether a homeowner has received a stipulation letter, has filed an appeal, or done nothing, the mistake is being fixed, he said.

He said although mistakes are made for single family homes, it is unusual for such a large group of people to be affected by a single error. He said the township’s process in determining value of a condo is to apply a factor that is used for the whole condo complex rather than doing it unit by unit.

“We made a mistake that affected the whole complex,” he said.

Frerichs said the township set his unit’s value at $137,000, but it should be about $100,000.

He signed an agreement stipulating the correct assessment, but said he remains concerned that it will be corrected. If it is not, he said homeowners who did not get stipulation agreements or file appeals would have no recourse.

Earl said the mistake cannot be corrected until the process is finished.

“Sometime in March all these folks will get a notice of the correction and their bill,” Earl said.

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