Taxes, Assessments, & Property Values
Some Timely Information for Property Owners
It's "THAT" time of the year again. All across the collar counties of Chicago, property/home owners are receiving (or soon will be) their 2010 Property Tax Bills. Within these counties, 1st installments of these tax bills are due in June and the 2nd installment in September, as a rule.
While the majority of the property/home owners with a mortgage have their property taxes paid directly out of Escrow Accounts held by their loan servicer, the "sting" of paying property taxes still exists.
I can tell you by the activity I have seen through my Twitter and Facebook accounts, the arrival of the property tax bills has set-off a firestorm of conversation and controversy. I can also tell you from being a mortgage lender in Chicagoland, my phones start ringing every year with their arrival too. The arrival of property tax bills typically gets homeowners thinking about the possibility of refinancing (a link to my Chicago Bancorp refinancing information) their homes. It's my job to see if it's wise .. or a possiblity to do so.
For many homeowners, the "equation" and method their county governmental taxing bodies utilize for arriving at the amounts due on propertytax bills is somewhat shrouded in mystery. So I'm going to attempt to answer here within this post, some of the questions I most often hear surrounding property tax bills themselves.
This year in particular seems to offer a multitude of interesting scenarios regarding property values, to say the least. At least in a majority of our Chicago and Chicagoland area, property values have dropped fairly significantly during the last 3 years. Some areas have most assuredly been hit harder than others, with declines seen in some statistical areas being as much as 40 - 50% since the housing value "peak", considered by most to be the year 2007.
As a result of their property values declining, most homeowners are expecting to see a corresponding drop in their home's/property assessed values, and a drop in their actual property tax bills when they receive them. However, they are many times disappointed as this drop does not typically happen immediately.
There are thousands of differing types of property found within each township, varying in property types and property usage. These properties can represent vast extremes. Anything from nuclear powerplants, vacant land parcels, warehouses, to residential and more can all "reside" within a governmental taxing body's borders. Family residences are our primary focus here within this post.
But whatever property considered, properties are NOT inspected for re-assessment each and every year. Nor are the "comparables" for each property. This is done typically on a rotating 3 year average.
According to the Supervisor of Assessments Office in Will County, IL( www.willcountysoa.com for answers to frequently asked questions) the actual assessed value of a property is arrived at by the 3 (three) most recent years of sales activity for that property ... and surrounding properties.
This three (3) year average accounts for a more stable assessed property level. It will not however, allow for quickly changing market swings ... such as those that are being experienced currently across Chicagoland and much of the nation. Assessors (public officials that establish the value of a property for taxation purposes), for lack of better terminology are ... playing "catch-up" on property assessments. And that can work in a property owner's favor in an upswinging market ... or against them, as in the market we are presently experiencing.
There is also an "equalization factor" that is differing and separate for each village/county/state that is distinctive to the township you reside in. This equalization factor further confuses many homeowners/property owners. As the factor may not remain the same for each year's tax bill. It "floats" and changes.
According to the Will County Supervisor of Assessment's definition, an "equalization factor" is: Equalization is the application of a uniform percentage increase or decrease to assessed values of various areas or classes of property in order to bring assessment levels, on average, to the same percentage of market value. Equalization of assessed values is important (and performed) at each level of government - township, county and state. Chief County Assessment Officers (CCAO), County Boards of Review and the State possess certain powers to equalize assessments.
Perhaps the best information that I can pass on to readers here surrounds the steps to be taken should you wish to appeal/protest your taxes... which is actually a protest of your property's assessed value.
Should you feel that your property is being unfairly assessed, you must provide a basis for your protest with hard factual data. Much of this data can be compiled by the property owner themselves. Other property owners feel the need to hire a licensed real estate appraiser to do a report.
In most cases, an appeal/protest and compiled factual data must be presented within 30 days of receiving your PROPERTY ASSESSMENT NOTICE ... not the property tax bill itself. (Please check with your property's tax assessor's office for the timing of your property assessment mailings.)
Again ... waiting for your actual property tax bill to arrive is TOO LATE. You are protesting/appealing the ASSESSMENT of your property, not the tax bill itself. Stay in tune. Be aware of the release of new/re-assessments of properties that will reflect and assist you with your own appeal/protest. There are strict guidelines and timeframes in which you must work should you hope to be successful in appeal/protest of your taxes. Each county has its own specific rules, regulations, guidelines, and timeframes. You may not be able to rely on a friends, relatives, or co-workers set of guidelines for your specific property.
I have included some additional links below to help in the understanding of your property's assessment, as well as links to more detailed and complex property assessment information and considerations. I hope that they prove of assistance to you.
Here are some helpful links to aid you
in your search for information:
Looking for a particular property's date of sale in Will County, IL? Go to:
Seeking the Contact Information for the Tax Assessor in your Will County Township?
Seeking information regarding the protest/appeals process for your Will County, IL property assessment?
The Will County, IL Treasurer's Office link and info:
DuPage County, IL ... Information on Appealing Assessments:
DuPage County, IL ... County Assessor's Directory:
DuPage County, IL ...
Supervisor of Assessments, Equalization Factor Calculation Background & Info:
Kane County, IL Assessment Office link:
Kane County, IL ... Rules and Procedures for Filing an Assessment Complaint:
Kane County, IL ... Assessor List and Links to Websites:
Some helpful tax forms for area Senior property owners:
In Will County, IL: The 2011 Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze and Homestead Exemption Application and Affidavit:
In Will County, IL: Dates for Forums held around the County of Will to Assist Seniors regarding the Seniors Assessment Freeze and filing of forms:
In DuPage County, IL: 2011 Application and Affidavit for The Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption:
In Kane County, IL: 2011 Application for the Senior Citizen Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption:
* To discover what the tax escrow payment on a Chicagoland new home purchase would be, please contact me today! I can be reached at: Direct: 815.277.4036, Cell/Text: 708.921.6331, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org., or through my website at: http://www.genemundt.com/Contact-Info.html