Community Spotlight: Illinois Neighbors win Tax Appeal

hogsdon'tvoteFactory farms move into communities often diminishing the quality of life for the residents living there.  Most of the time there is little reprieve for the neighbors of a factory farm when the local environment becomes polluted and their property values decrease.  Some factory farm neighbors, however, are doing what they can to challenge their property taxes when a factory farm comes in and decreases their property value.

This is the case for David and Renee Leifheit of Chana, Illinois, who were awarded a 12.5% reduction in their property taxes because of the impacts of a factory farm near their home. The Illinois Department of Agriculture approved the siting of the facility within a quarter mile of their residence in rural Ogle County six years ago.

A hearing was scheduled before the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board (PTAB) on September 4, 2012 after the county denied their request to reduce the assessed value of their property. At the hearing, the PTAB hearing officer encouraged the parties to discuss resolution of the issue prior to arguing their cases, which allowed the Leifheits the opportunity to negotiate a settlement with Ogle County officials.

Both parties agreed to a compromise on the dollar amount of their property taxes based on the factory farm’s proximity to their land, which will apply retroactively from the date it was constructed.

If you are someone who is looking to challenge your property taxes because of a neighboring factory farm, you can get more information by viewing a written handbook that was published by the Vermont Law School here.

More information on how factory farms harm property values can be viewed in a recently-released report by Dr. John Kilpatrick by clicking here.