Orland to allow online applications for property tax rebate program
By Mike Nolan email@example.com September 5, 2012 1:48PM
Updated: October 7, 2012 7:49AM
Orland Park residents who want to apply for the village’s property tax rebate program won’t necessarily have to pay a visit to village hall.
Trustees said Tuesday that an online application will be available on the village’s website, along with a video tutorial to walk applicants through the process.
While village officials believe allowing online filing will help cut costs, residents who prefer to fill out a paper application will still be able to do that. Applications will be available at village hall, the Sportsplex and other locations around the village, said Annmarie Mampe , the village’s finance director.
Trustees last month approved resurrecting the program, under which the village returns a portion of its share of homeowners’ tax bills. The village has earmarked $2.5 million for the rebate program, including money to cover costs, and officials are estimating that roughly 19,000 homeowners will apply, translating to a $131 rebate per taxpayer.
Information about the rebate program will be included in the village’s next newsletter, and postcards will be sent to all households with information about how to apply. Orland Park will also use its Facebook page and Twitter feed to publicize the program.
Along with completing the application, residents will have to file documents showing the amount of taxes they paid as well as proof of residency, such as a copy of a utility bill. For online applications, residents can scan and upload copies of the documents, or take a picture of them with a phone or tablet.
Village officials said the online version of the rebate form likely won’t be available at the village’s website until sometime in October.
The online process will let filers know if they haven’t attached all the necessary documents, and they’ll receive an email letting them know they’ve successfully filed their application, Mampe said. After receiving an application, the village will still need to verify whether property taxes were paid by the resident, she said.
The deadline to apply electronic and paper forms will be announced in the coming weeks but will likely be sometime in December, with checks going out in March, village manager Paul Grimes said.
The village began the rebate program in March 2003 to offset a new home-rule sales tax, but the program was suspended in 2009 because the recession delivered a substantial hit on village revenue. From 2003 through 2009, the village rebated a total of $25.6 million, Mampe said.
When the last rebate checks went out in 2009, the amount each resident received varied, depending on the equalized assessed value of their home. But that year the village gave $4.5 million to homeowners.
In the 2009 rebate, checks equaled about 83 percent of the amount that homeowners paid in property tax to the village, while the $131 figure would represent about 20 percent.
Mampe said the average resident pays about $600 in property tax to Orland Park, and that the village’s share of a homeowner’s overall tax bill is about 7 percent.