REPORT DIGEST

 

PROPERTY TAX APPEAL BOARD

 

COMPLIANCE EXAMINATION

For the Two Years Ended:

June 30, 2006

 

Summary of Findings:

 

Total this audit††††††††††            † 3

Total last audit†††††††††††††           2

Repeated from last audit†††††††††1

 

 

Release Date:

January 31, 2007 

 

State of Illinois

Office of the Auditor General

WILLIAM G. HOLLAND

AUDITOR GENERAL

 

 

To obtain a copy of the Report contact:

Office of the Auditor General

Iles Park Plaza

740 E. Ash Street

Springfield, IL 62703

(217) 782-6046 or TTY (888) 261-2887

 

This Report Digest and Full Report are also available on

the worldwide web at

http://www.state.il.us/auditor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

 

 

®      The Board did not allow for the speedy hearing of all appeals.

®      The Board did not conduct employee performance evaluations in accordance with Illinois Administrative Code and Agency policies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{Expenditures and Activity Measures are summarized on the reverse page.}

 

 


PROPERTY TAX APPEAL BOARD

COMPLIANCE EXAMINATION

For The Two Years Ended June 30, 2006

 

EXPENDITURE STATISTICS

FY 2006

FY 2005

FY 2004

†††† Total Expenditures (All Funds)....................

$1,644,798

$1,808,488

 

$1,727,489

†††††††† Personal Services................................

†††††††††† % of Expenditures...........................

†††††††††† Average No. of Employees..............

†††††††††† Average Salary per Employee..........

$1,228,598

74.70%

25

$49,144

$1,220,881

67.51%

26

$46,957

$1,258,525

72.85%

24

$52,439

†††††††† Other Payroll Costs (FICA, Retirement)

†††††††††† % of Expenditures...........................

$194,045

11.80%

$279,090

15.43%

$252,362

14.61%

†††††††† Reestablish Cook County Office...........

†††††††††† % of Expenditures..............................

$60,783

3.70%

$151,300

8.37%

$42,590

2.47%

†††††††† Electronic Data Processing...................

†††††††††† % of Expenditures..............................

$41,866

2.55%

$42,797

2.37%

$47,115

2.73%

†††††††† Contractual Services............................

†††††††††† % of Expenditures...........................

$40,017

2.43%

$35,761

1.98%

$41,339

2.39%

†††††††† Telecommunications Services....................

†††††††††† % of Expenditures...................................

$28,303

1.72%

$27,894

1.54%

$30,042

1.74%

†††††††† All Other Operations Items........................

†††††††††† % of Expenditures....................................

$51,186

3.10%

$50,765

2.80%

$55,516

3.21%

†††† Cost of Property and Equipment...............

$460,389

$492,300

$480,007

SELECTED ACTIVITY MEASURES (NOT EXAMINED)

FY 2006

FY 2005

FY 2004

         Total New Property Appeals Filed............

Springfield...................................................

Des Plaines.................................................

         Total Property Appeals Closed.................

Springfield...................................................

Des Plaines.................................................

         Total Property Appeals Pending at June 30,..............................................................

†† Springfield..................................................

†† Des Plaines................................................

25,426

4,375

21,051

19,864

4,310

15,554

39,426

6,976

32,450

12,697

4,705

7,992

12,168

3,548

8,620

33,864

6,911

26,953

22,548

3,311

19,237

11,715

2,826

8,889

33,335

5,754

27,581

 

AGENCY DIRECTOR(S)

During Examination Period:Mr. James Chipman

Currently:Mr. Ronald Messina


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some cases were closed between 149 and 399 days after the appeal was received

 

 

Some cases pending for more than one year

 

 

 

A two year backlog of cases were pending at June 30, 2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Several employee files tested did not contain a current performance evaluation

 

 

 

Employee evaluations were dated

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS

 

NEED TO IMPROVE UPON THE TIMELINESS FOR HEARING APPEALS

 

The Board did not allow for the speedy hearing of all appeals.

 

The Boardís mission is to provide for the speedy hearing of contested appeals and resolve appeals in a timely fashion by impartial decisions based upon equity and the weight of the evidence as set forth in the Boardís findings, to establish clear, concise, accurate, and timely communications with the public, and to maintain a workforce that demonstrates the highest standards of integrity, efficiency, and performance.

 

We tested 25 cases and noted the following:

 

     5 of 25 (20%) cases were closed during the examination period; however, it took between 149 and 399 days for the Board to process the appeals.

     17 of 25 (68%) cases were pending as of June 30, 2006.These cases had been received by the Board between 101 to 483 days earlier.Four of these cases were pending for more than one year.

 

††††† Total appeals pending at year end were:

-          June 30, 2004 - 33,335

-          June 30, 2005 - 33,864

-          June 30, 2006 - 39,426

 

Based on the amount of cases processed during fiscal year 2006, it would require approximately two years to process the current pending cases at June 30, 2006.

 

Board management stated that the shortage of staff, loss of senior hearing officers, and evidence filing extensions requested on appeals, contributed to the Boardís inability to allow for speedy hearings.(Finding 1, pages 10-11)

 

†††† We recommended that the Board review its policies and procedures pertaining to evidence filing extensions and allocate the necessary resources to adequately address its responsibilities for the timely processing of all appeals.

 

††††† Board management accepted our recommendation and stated that they would continue to review procedures and staffing needs in an effort to become more efficient and reduce processing time.

†††††

 

 

EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE EVALUATIONS NOT PERFORMED TIMELY

 

††††† The Property Tax Appeal Board (Board) did not conduct employee performance evaluations in accordance with Illinois Administrative Code and Agency policies.

 

††††† During the testing of personnel files, we noted 9 of 21 (42.9%) employee personnel files did not contain a current performance evaluation or their performance evaluation was not performed timely.We noted the following exceptions:

 

     The last evaluations performed for 7 of the 9 (77.8%) employees that did not have current evaluations had covered a period of greater than one year.

 

     One individualís last evaluation was performed through June 2002 and one individualís last evaluation was performed through September 1999.

 

††††† Board management stated that, as the Human resources section is not staffed, no system was in place to notify supervisors when evaluations were due. (Finding 2, page 12)

 

††††† We recommended that the Board allocate the resources necessary to conduct employee performance evaluations at least annually to comply with the Illinois Administrative Code and internal policies.

 

††††† Board management accepted our recommendation and stated that they have implemented a system to notify supervisors in October 2006.

 

 

 

 

____________________________________

WILLIAM G. HOLLAND, Auditor General

 

WGH:JAF:pp

 

SPECIAL ASSISTANT AUDITORS

 

††††† De Raimo Hillger & Ripp were our special assistant auditors for this State compliance examination.