Getting turbines on rolls meant delay in Vermilion tax bills

Getting turbines on rolls meant delay in Vermilion tax bills

DANVILLE — Vermilion County property tax bills will be mailed out next week — two-plus months after Champaign County residents received theirs.

Blame it on the wind.

Getting the 104 turbines in the California Ridge Wind Project onto the tax rolls proved to be a daunting task, according to supervisor of assessments Matt Long.

The wind farm is owned by Invenergy, a Chicago-based energy company, and has been operating for more than a year. Long said the wind farm required his office to add 200 to 300 new parcels to the tax rolls.

He said it also has boosted the county's equalized assessed valuation by $22.5 million. Vermilion County, Pilot Township, the Armstrong and Potomac school districts and other taxing bodies will see new revenue from the turbines.

His office didn't have the manpower to handle creating so many new parcels, so Long said he had to contract out some of the work. Despite the additional help, it pushed back the entire property tax process, which begins with the assessor, moves to the county clerk and ends with the office of Vermilion County Treasurer Sue Stine, who mails out the bills.

Ideally, Stine said, she'd like to mail property tax bills the first week of June, or even the last part of May.

"That would be really nice," said Stine, who explained that the Illinois Department of Revenue says bills should be distributed by May 1 with the first of two payments due in early June.

Champaign County tax bills were mailed out May 2, with the first installment due June 2 and the second due Sept. 2.

Stine said Vermilion taxpayers won't have as much time between the two due dates. The first installment will be due Aug. 15, the second on Sept. 5.

"It would be nice to give them more time," Stine said.

Stine said the September due date cannot be pushed back without delaying the distribution of property tax revenue to school districts and other taxing bodies.

"It's important that they get their money," she said.

The treasurer's office offers property owners various ways to pay, including by phone, online, at any local bank, by mail or in person at the Vermilion County Courthouse Annex, 6 N. Vermilion St., Danville.

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