Sycamore preparing to mail checks to residents following overtaxation

Residents should expect refund checks by mid-April, according to city announcement Thursday

Sycamore Finance Director Kristian Dominguez talks with City Manager Michael Hall during the March 18, 2024, Sycamore City Council meeting.

SYCAMORE – Residents who were collectively overtaxed nearly $120,000 on their 2022 Sycamore property tax bills should expect a refund mailed to them this spring, Sycamore officials said on Thursday.

The Sycamore Finance Department is preparing to mail checks to affected Sycamore taxpayers, and officials anticipate checks will be received by mid-April, according to a city news release.

City officials have said the average rebate check for Sycamore residents is estimated to be between $10 and $20, but some business owners may be owed more.

“Thank you to the DeKalb County Illinois Treasurer’s office for providing the data necessary for our Finance Department to process the refunds,” Sycamore officials wrote in Thursday post on the city’s Facebook page. “Further, to our residents and businesses – thank you for your patience as we worked diligently to rectify our error. Internal procedures have been implemented and fortified to ensure this error is never repeated, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to fiscal transparency.

In November 2023, a Daily Chronicle review of city records discovered the city of Sycamore overtaxed residents nearly $120,000.

The review found the 2022 city property tax levy the Sycamore City Council approved in December 2022 was not the same levy that went out to taxpayers for 2022 bills payable in 2023, according to multiple public documents including DeKalb County tax records from the DeKalb County Clerk and Recorder’s Office, various city documents and Sycamore City Council minutes.

Sycamore officials initially called the issue a “clerical error” in a November statement released after the Daily Chronicle began asking about its findings. In December, after some residents said the city should pay back the overtaxed money, Sycamore City Manager Michael Hall said stuffing envelopes with rebate checks could cost the city more in labor and materials than the $120,000 overtaxed amount.

Weeks later, after talking to lawyers representing the city, Hall said the overtaxation was an administrative issue and the city would mail checks to all land owners that paid the 2022 property tax, however.

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