We are Here to Help
As always, should you have any questions regarding exemptions or any other assessment questions, please feel free to contact our office. We are here to help. You may also visit the Supervisor of Assessments website, www.willcountysoa.com, for forms and property info.
The township Assessor is charged with the task of uniformly assessing properties at a median level of 33 1/3% (one-third) of market value. Equitable assessments ensure a fair distribution of the property tax burden among all property owners. Local property taxes pay for such services as schools, villages, libraries, park districts, and fire protection districts. The Assessor has no control over the levies of taxing bodies or the tax rate.
The local Tax Rate is determined by the combined spending of all taxing districts, including the county, the forest preserve district, townships, community colleges, schools, villages, fire districts, libraries, parks, etc. Each government prepares a budget, requests the revenues needed, and submits the request to the county clerk. The county clerk calculates the tax rate based on their requests. The local tax rate is then applied against all property assessments in the district to produce the Property Tax Amount for each property.
Property taxes are determined by the budgets of your local taxing bodies. These local taxing bodies use property tax revenues to pay for the services rendered to the residents in their district. Tax bills are paid in 2 installments and are due June 1st and September 1st of every year.
Exemptions are a form of partial property tax relief. Each exemption type is designed to provide tax relief for a specific class of property owners. Eligibility requirements vary for each type of exemption. The amount of tax relief may also vary with each exemption type and property. A property owner may be eligible for more than one exemption type.
What is market value?
Finding the market value of your property involves discovering the most likely price that unrelated individuals, both acting with full knowledge of the facts and in their best interest, would pay for it in its present condition.
This is what is known as an ‘arm’s length transaction.’ Finding this number is not always easy, however, because of the limited number of actual sales that occur each year and because the assessor has to find out what this value would be for every property, sold or not sold, and no matter how big or small. It is exactly this ability to estimate the value that is one of the strengths of the property tax system.
But the assessor’s job doesn’t stop there. Each year the process has to be repeated all over again because the market value of almost everything is constantly changing from one year to the next.
Why have property taxes?
The theory behind utilizing a system of Property Tax is that those members of the community who have the advantages of good schools, fire, and police protection, and other public benefits can absorb their fair share of the cost. This share is in direct proportion to the amount of money our individual properties are worth. This is known as the concept of “Ad Valorem’ or according to value.
The property tax is part of a well-balanced revenue system. It is a more stable source of money than sales and income taxes because it does not fluctuate when communities have recessions. When the community spends tax dollars on better schools, parks, and so on, your property values rise. Some of the windfall benefits you receive are recaptured by the property tax.
Why do assessed values change from year to year?
When market value changes, naturally, so does the assessed value. For instance, if you were to add a garage to your home, the assessed value would increase.
However, if your property were in poor condition, the assessed value would decrease. The assessor does not create the value. People establish value through their transactions in the marketplace. The assessor simply has the legal responsibility to study those transactions, change the factual data, and appraise the property accordingly.
What are the assessed value and the tax rate?
The assessor’s office has very little to do with the total amount of taxes collected. The assessor’s primary responsibility is to find the fair market value of your property so that you may pay only your fair share of the taxes.
The amount of taxes you pay is determined by a tax rate applied to your property’s assessed value. The tax rate is determined by all the taxing agencies, such as city, county, school districts, etc., and also depends on what is needed to provide all the services you enjoy.
What are your rights and responsibilities?
In your opinion, if the value of your property differs from the assessor’s, by all means, go to the office and discuss the matter. Staff will be glad to answer your Questions about the appraisal and explain how to appeal if you cannot come to an agreement.
The assessor’s office relies on the property owner for information. You can help by providing accurate information. If you feel taxes are too high, you should make your opinion known to the proper taxing authorities.
If, after talking with your local assessor, you still feel that your assessment is too high, you have the right to appeal. This right to appeal is part of the due process provided to every property owner in Illinois and is a formal legal matter involving the property owner, the board of review, and very often, the Township Assessor.