How to Appeal Property Taxes in Champaign County, Illinois
It's that time of the year again! Each year from early July through early September, property owners in Champaign County Illinois are given the opportunity to appeal their property tax assessment in an attempt to lower their taxes.
First, find out what amount the county is using as your home's market value (your property tax is based on this number). If you don't have the paperwork, you can find the information at this Champaign County government website. Just enter your property address. And if you suspect the stated market value is higher than what it should be, then keep reading...
If you've bought your property within the last two years, the sale price can often be used to prove the home's market value. Make an appointment with the Board of Review and bring the sales contract or MLS sheet showing the sales information, along with a copy of the appraisal done at the time of the sale, if you have it. If the sale took place under normal circumstances, they'll usually adjust the home's market value to equal the amount that you paid for the property. Sometimes it's that simple!
If it's been a little more than two years since the sale, you can try taking the paperwork to the Board of Review anyway. In some cases they will still use the sales information, saving you from additional work.
However, if you've owned your property for more than a few years, some research may be necessary. At this point, I would call over to the assessment office and speak with someone about your home. Most likely they'll want to see "Comparable sales" information, info on properties similar to yours that have sold recently, in order to prove that the value of your home is not as great as the assessed value. A real estate agent can help you obtain this data, or you can just go to the Board of Review where they can pull the information for you. In some cases, a formal appraisal may be necessary, but that typically costs $300-$500 so be sure you've exhausted all other possibilities first!
The Board of Review contact info:
Brookens Administrative Center, 1776 E. Washington St., Urbana IL 61802
The phone number is: (217) 384-3758
You may be asking yourself, is all this really worth it? In my opinion, yes! First of all, it's often not as much work as it may seem. But more importantly, appealing your property tax assessment can both you save money on your taxes and help with the future sale of your home. (Lower property taxes are more attractive to potential buyers!) If you're still unsure about what you need to do, just head over to the Board of Review office. They'll be happy to guide you through the entire process!