Property tax roundup: Ringwood, Richmond, Bull Valley, Barrington Hills have highest tax bills in McHenry County
The Village of Ringwood has yet to see a home sell this year.
That could be because the suburban McHenry County community has an official U.S. Census population of only 820 people and the interest isn't great. Or it could be because of its average effective property tax rate of 6.44 percent.
Lawrence Lezon was one of the lucky ones. His four-bedroom, four-bath home at 6706 Whispering Meadow Lane sold in August 2018 for $284,000, according to Zillow. He wasn't so lucky, however, when it came to making money off the sale.
Having purchased the home in 2007 for $320,000, he lost $101,116 on the deal when you take into account inflation.
McHenry County records show that he paid $82,881 in property taxes while owning the home, or an effective property rate 29.18 percent.
Homeowners in Ringwood, Richmond, Bull Valley and Barrington Hills saw the highest effective tax rates in the county during the second part of 2018, according to an analysis by Local Government Services (LGIS), which publishes the McHenry Times.
The effective property tax rate, or the percentage of your home’s value that you pay in property taxes each year, averages 2.31 percent in Illinois, three times the 0.87 percent tax rate in neighboring Indiana, according to WalletHub.com.
Across the nation, the average tax rate is 1.3 percent.
Of the 32 McHenry County communities surveyed by LGIS, 23 have effective property tax rates higher than the state average. Ringwood topped the list, followed by Richmond at 3.83 percent, Bull Valley at 3.61 percent and Barrington Hills with 3.39 percent.
Only 10 minutes away from Lezon's former home, James and Nora Bowgren shared a similar plight. They purchased their five-bedroom, three-bath home at 5327 Mourning Dove Circle in Richmond for $338,000 in 2004 ($447,555 in today's dollars).
They sold the home on March 15 for $305,000, or a $142,555 loss. With $110,341 in taxes paid during the 15 years they owned the home, according to McHenry County, the Bowgren's effective property tax rate was 24.65 percent.
In comparison, just across the border in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin a three-bedroom, two-bath home that has less square footage than the Bowgren's sold for $370,000 on March 3. Its effective property rate was 1.49 percent.
Sold for 30 percent less than its $6.4 million purchase price
The Bowgrens and Lezon's financial losses paled in comparison to the one recently suffered by EMERgency24 President Dante Monteverde and his wife, Alicia Lopez-Monteverde.
In 2010, the couple purchased 207 Woodhaven Lane in Barrington for $6.4 million, or $7.47 million in today's dollars. The 20,000-square-foot mansion was described as "Colorado-esque" on Zillow with two floor-to-ceiling river rock fireplaces, a 30-foot Cypress domed ceiling in the great room, and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a pond, waterfall and the estate's 22-wooded acres.
The home reportedly sold on March 18 for $4.48 million, which is the most anyone has paid for a home in the area since 2012 -- but still $2.99 million less than the Monteverdes paid for the home.
In the nine years that the couple owned the estate, they paid $560,260 in property taxes, which equates to a 12.5 percent effective tax rate.
The Monteverdes are selling two other homes in the area, including one that was originally listed for $20 million in 2014 and is now down to $14.89 million, according to Zillow.
It's no wonder the couple has reportedly left the country.
McHenry County Effective Property Tax Rates July 1-Dec. 31, 2018
|Community||Effective Tax Rate||Median Tax Bill||Median Sale Price|
|Fox River Grove||3.04%||$7,090||$233,000|
|Lake in the Hills||2.67%||$5,879||$220,000|