Rockford, IL. (ECWd) –
We reviewed the Rockford Airport Authority’s real estate taxation of property parcels located within the townships included in the airport authority boundaries.
As we understand it, the Rockford Airport Authority was established through a referendum approved by four townships: Cherry Valley Township, Owen Township, Harlem Township, and Rockford Township – all located in Winnebago County.
According to all available information, when a township votes to approve a referendum for an airport authority, the entire township is included in the footprint of the authority and is subject to the tax levy. Some properties are exempted, such as farmland of a certain size, government property, and some nonprofit property. The rest are taxable or should become taxable once they no longer qualify for an exemption.
We obtained a list of property PIN numbers from Winnebago County which were within the four townships and were not paying the airport real estate tax.
Of the 41 properties in Cherry Valley Township not paying the tax, we found 23 of those properties need to be reviewed by the airport authority and possibly brought back into the taxing district – 56% of nonpaying properties should be paying those taxes according to our observations.
As an example: Properties with Owner Occupied Exemptions, various Disabled Veteran Exemptions, Senior Freeze Exemptions, Over 65 Exemptions, etc., are within Cherry Valley Township, but not paying tax to the airport authority.
We believe the airport authority should conduct their own investigation into these properties and petition the courts to bring them back into the taxing authority of the airport. They can contact the Vermilion County Airport Authority with any questions on this process.
For a list of the PIN numbers we reviewed, see this spreadsheet (those in RED are farmland or government properties, those in BLACK should be reviewed for taxation purposes).
We have notified the airport authority but have not received a response from them.