Coles County property taxes delayed this year

Tony Komada, Online Editor

Coles County property taxes are estimated to be sent out by the end of July to early August, which is about two months later than usual.

“We’re running late this year,” said Karen Biddle, supervisor of assessments.

Creating property taxes in Charleston is done in three steps. The assessment office calculates the value of property along with any exemptions. Taxes then move on to the county clerk, who calculates where the taxes go. The treasurer finishes the process by establishing due dates and sending out tax information.

Biddle’s first stage is typically completed in March, but this year the first stage will not be finished for a few more weeks.

Sue Rennels, Coles County Clerk, said her stage is finished in about four to six weeks after assessments are completed.

George Edwards, Coles County Treasurer, said his stage is typically finished in 10 to 14 days after the county clerk.

Biddle has worked in the office of assessments previously, but this is her first year as supervisor of assessments.

The old assessor was not reappointed, which put Biddle into a position she was not expecting. She said this new position has presented unexpected challenges that caused the delay.

Property taxes being delayed can be problematic for any entity that relies on the funding, such as local schools.

Jim Littleford, superintendent of schools at CUSD 1, said the tax delay is a “perfect storm with the school district.”

Littleford said he is preparing for a cash flow issue in July through August. He has brought up a tax anticipation warrant line of credit, which would allow CUSD 1 to meet payroll and other expenses.

“We’re already on an energy conservation program and have been for several years,” Littleford said.

Thus, Charleston schools have little room for cutting in their budget.


Tony Komada can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].