Williamson County taxpayer stuck in limbo with apartment complex
Bobbie Rendleman has an issue with Williamson County's property taxes.
“I have been to the courthouse,” Rendleman told Southeast Illinois News. “I have got them reduced, but they keep pushing.”
Rendleman, who is 77, owns and manages a 36-apartment unit in the village of Energy, but he wants to sell.
The problem, Rendleman said, is that he can't sell the complex for its assessed value and in the meantime must deal with high property taxes.
While he has a contract pending to possibly sell the 2.4 acre property for just over $1 million, he says prior tax assessment valuations have ranged up to nearly $1.8 million.
“I'm selling these for less than their real estate valuation,” Rendleman said.
Describing what he calls "churning" of his properties, Rendleman said he tends to find prospective buyers who change their mind.
“They never make an offer,” he said.
Rendleman also has questions about a tax increment financing (TIF) district operating in the Williamson County area.
Typically, a TIF fund collects tax money from properties that would have gone to municipalities and puts them into a fund earmarked for improvements to local infrastructure.
Rendleman worries that the TIF might be influencing his tax rates.
“I did not want to be in the TIF district,” Rendleman said, questioning whether being in the TIF area will raise the value of his property, as he's been told.
Rendleman is also concerned that the handling of TIF funds might push taxes away from some commercial parties and toward the rest of the tax base.
“Somebody's got to make up for that shortfall,” Rendleman said.
Characterizing his struggle as an “ongoing battle” with the county, Rendleman said he just wants to be clear about how taxation works and whether it’s applied fairly.
“I’m willing to pay my fair share,” Rendleman said.
In the end, Rendleman is just looking for a sale where he can recoup his money, but his challenges speak to the bigger picture of transparency and fairness in taxing districts and the ways in which municipalities work toward public awareness.