As farmers work a late harvest, farmland assessments appeals are due November 26. A town hall meeting will be held to help farmers understand the changes for this year.

Even as Shelby Area farmers are still out in the field for a challenging late harvest, questions have risen about the assessment of their farmland and coming increases.

State Representative Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville), Shelby County Farm Bureau, and Illinois Farm Bureau are having a town hall meeting on Monday, November 18 at 7 p.m. at the Lake Shelbyville Visitors Center, located at 1989 IL-16 in Shelbyville.

The purpose of the town hall is to answer questions and concerns about the rise in assessed valuation on farmland. The doors open at 6 p.m. and the event will start at 7 p.m. The meeting is free and open to the media and the public.

There will be a presentation from Brenda Matherly, Director of Local Government with Illinois Farm Bureau®. She will provide a better understanding on how farmland assessments are calculated and what the long-term impact will be on those values.

Debbie Dunaway, Shelby County Supervisor of Assessments, Jessica Fox Shelby County Clerk and Erica Firnhaber, Shelby County Treasurer, will also be on-hand to answer questions on property tax-related issues.

“My office has received a lot of calls on this, and so I thought it would be a good idea to bring in someone who can answer questions and address the concerns I know many of us have about what is going on with farmland assessments,” Halbrook said. “I encourage everyone who owns farmland to try to make it to this event.”

According to Matherly, farmland assessments will continue to go up due in part to a change in the Farmland Assessment Act. She said the rate of increase will be largely dependent on the soil type.

Poorer soils can expect to see a higher than 10% increase while better producing soils can expect an increase of less than 10%. This increase in assessed values was recently reflected on the 2019 property tax bills and will continue for several years to come.

“The Illinois Farmland Assessment Law allows farmland to be assessed and taxed based upon the land’s agricultural usage rather than its market value as well as the specific soil types,” said Madison McFadden, Shelby County Farm Bureau manager. “The intention of this meeting is to answer questions in respect to this year’s assessment in Shelby County prior to end of the appeal period on November 26. This is a great time for property owners to ask their questions to the experts.”

Rep. Halbrook can be reached at Halbrook@ilhousegop.org or call 217-774-1306.

John Curtis can be reached at john.curtis@shelbyvilledailyunion.com

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