From Our Property Taxes
|State Tax Summary|
Real property tax is called property tax in the state of Illinois . The state of Illinois has 102 counties, with the county treasurer as the ex-officio collector in all counties, except in Sangamon County . County Assessors maintain and set property valuations . The County Auditor certifies property valuations . The County Treasurer collects current and delinquent property tax . The state of Illinois has personal exemptions for veterans, homeowners, disabled citizens and senior citizens . On October 17, 2007, legislation was passed into law that gives more Illinois veterans, seniors and disabled persons property tax relief. Act 95-0644 created three new homestead exemptions for Illinois disabled citizens and qualifying veterans and expanded current homestead exemptions for qualifying homeowners and senior citizens . Property owners who do not agree with the assessed value have two levels of protest (all counties except Cook County) and property owners in Cook County who do not agree with the assessed value have three levels of protest available . The state agency is Illinois Department of Revenue, Office of Local Government Services, Replacement Tax Certification Division, 101 West Jefferson Street, Springfield, IL 62794; (217) 782-3254; FAX (217) 782-9932. A state issued assessor's manual, Illinois Real Property Appraisal Manual, is available for $25 from Illinois Department of Revenue, 101 West Jefferson, Level 4 SW, P.O. Box 19033, Springfield, IL 62794-9033; (217) 782-3336. The Chicago ASC (Area Service Center) provides tax service for Illinois
Assessment dates and rates
- Assessment date:: January 1
- Fiscal year : January 1 through December 31 Taxes are collected one year in arrears. For ex, 2007 taxes are due in 2008.
- Reassessment cycle: Four years (Cook County reassesses every three years)
- Classification of property: Class I Real Estate
- Assessment rate: Class I 33% x True Cash Value
- Level of government responsible for assessment: State, County, Township
- Economic Loss Dates: One billing; Two installments: June 1 and September 1 (Cook County is due March 1 and August 1). Most Illinois counties vary on actual due dates. All taxes are due and payable at least 30 days before the first installment economic loss date (ELD). Installments must be paid in equal amounts .
Rock Island County has four equal installments (June, August, September and November) . Cook County and McLean County uses an accelerated or estimated tax billing system; the first installment is based on the preceding year's tax bill, and the second installment covers the balance of taxes due .
- Tax Collector and Officials: The county treasurer is the ex-officio collector in all counties, except Sangamon County. Sangamon County townships collect the first installment. Sangamon County collects first installment payments made after the first-half ELD, as well as second installment. Full-year payments can be made to the townships before the first-half ELD .
County Township Assessors maintain and set property valuations. The County Auditor certifies property valuations. The County Treasurer collects current and delinquent property tax.
- General Homestead Exemption
Residential property that is occupied as principal owner occupant or lessee with an equitable interest in the property and has an obligation to pay the property taxes on the leased property may qualify for an annual exemption. The exemption amount is the increase in the current year's EAV (equalized assessed value) above the 1977 EAV, up to a maximum of $5,000. Either file an initial application for the General Homestead Exemption with the chief county assessment office or the General Homestead Exemption may be granted automatically .
- Alternative General Homestead Exemption
In Cook County, homeowners living in their property may be eligible for a 7% expanded homeowner exemption, known as the Alternative General Homestead Exemption . The increase is limited to 7% of a property's EAV for each year when applied as an expanded version to the General Homeowner Exemption. The exemption is limited to $5,000 for properties that require the Senior Citizen Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption, to a maximum exemption amount of $20,000 . Contact the Cook County Assessor's Office to apply.
- Homestead Improvement Exemption
Any new improvement, limitied to the fair cash value that was added to the homestead property, up to an annual maximum of $75,000 may qualify for an exemption. Four years from the date the improvement is comleted and occupied, the exemption continues . An application for Homestead Improvement Exemption may be required by the Supervisor of Assessments or County Assessor. In Cook County, file an application with the County Assessor along with a valuation complaint .
- Property Tax Extension Limitation Law
The Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL) may limit the increases in total taxes billed (property tax extensions) for non-home rule taxing districts. Property tax extension increases are limited to the lesser of 5 percent or the increase in the national Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the year preceding the levy year . The limitation can be increased for a taxing body with voter approval.
- Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption
Senior citizens who have a total household income of less than $50,000, and meet certain other qualifications to elect to maintain the equalized assessed value (EAV) of their homes at the base year EAV and prevent any increase in that value due to inflation may be eligilbe for the Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption. The exemption benefit amount is determined each year based on (1) the property's current EAV minus the frozen base year value (the property's prior year's EAV for which the applicant first qualifies for the exemption), and (2) the applicants total household income. The percentage amount of the exemption benefit declines for a total household income over $45,000. Each year applicants must complete and file Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption Application and Affidavit, with the chief county assessment office
- Senior Citizens Homestead Exemption
This annual exemption is available for residential property that is occupied as a principal residence by a person that is 65 years of age or older during the assessment year. The person must own or have a legal or equitable interest in the property during the assessment year and be liable for the payment of the property tax. The amount of the exemption is a $3,500 reduction in the EAV of the property. Filing requirements vary by county, some counties require an initial application, Application for Senior Citizens Homestead Exemption, or an annual renewal application, Certificate of Status - Senior Citizens Homestead Exemption, to be filed with the chief county assessment office.
- Senior Citizens Real Estate Tax Deferral Program
This program allows persons 65 years of age and older, who have a total household income of less than $50,000 and meet certain other qualifications, to defer all or part of the real estate taxes and special assessments on their principal residences. The deferral is similar to a loan against the property's market value. A lien is filed on the property in order to ensure repayment of the deferral. The state pays the property taxes and then recovers the money, plus 6 percent annual interest, when the property is sold or transferred. The deferral must be repaid within one year of the taxpayer's death or 90 days after the property ceases to qualify for this program. The maximum amount that can be deferred, including interest and lien fees, is 80 percent of the taxpayer's equity interest in the property. To apply for real estate tax deferrals, an Application for Deferral of Real Estate Taxes and a Real Estate Tax Deferral and Recovery Agreement, must be completed. To apply for special assessment deferrals, an Application for Deferral of Special Assessments and a Special Assessments Deferral and Recovery Agreement, must be completed.
- Solar Energy Equipment Exemption
Owners of property with solar energy equipment may add value to a property. The owners of the property with special equipment may apply to have a property valued as though it used conventional heating or cooling equipment . Pollution control equipment receives preferential assessment also. .
- Disabled Veterans' Exemption
Up to $70,000 of the assessed value for certain types of housing owned and used by a disabled veteran or his or her unmarried surviving spouse may be eligible for a Disable Veterans' Exemption. The exemption must be reestablished each year and the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs determines the eligibility for this exemption. This exemption is also available on a mobile home owned and used exclusively by a disabled veteran or their spouse .
- Non homestead Exemptions
Properties of religious, charitable, and educational organizations, as well as units of federal, state and local governments, are eligible for exemption from property taxes to the extent provided by law. Also, cemeteries, hospitals and personal property may be exempt. The organization must apply for exemption to the county board of review which reviews the application and forwards it to the department for the final administrative decision .
Each of these forms are available from the chief county assessment office, or local County Treasurer's O ffice, and will be filed with the chief county assessment office. Form PTAX -340 : Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption Application and Affidavit Form PTAX-324: Application for Senior Citizens Homestead Exemption Form PTAX-329: Certificate of Status - Senior Citizens Homestead Exemption, Form PTAX-1017-TD: Application for Deferral of Real Estate Taxes Form PTAX-1018-TD: Real Estate Tax Deferral and Recovery Agreement Form PTAX-1017-SA: Application for Deferral of Special Assessments Form PTAX-1018-SA: Special Assessments Deferral and Recovery Agreement Specific deduction claim forms are available from the county auditor or on the Illinois Department of Local Government Finance website http://www.in.gov/icpr/webfile/formsdiv/dlgf.html .
- Forms due dates
Applications for deductions against real property must be filed during the twelve months before June 11 to be effective for taxes payable in the following year. The filing deadline for deduction applications for mobile homes and manufactured homes that are not assessed as real property is the twelve months before March 31, unless noted below.
All deductions for real property require that the ownership must be recorded as of March 1 of the assessment year for taxes payable the following year.
Manufactured and mobile homes must be owned by January 15 to be eligible for the deductions to be applied to the tax bill for that year.
How property tax determined
Residential property is assessed at 33% of market value and the assessor determines the fair market value. The assessor can use three methods:
- Cost Approach: at current labor and material prices, estimate how much it would take to replace the property with one similar to it. Use this method when there are no sales of comparable properties.
- Income Approach: for an apartment or office building, estimate how much income the property can produce.
- Market Approach: using other comparable properties that have sold recently, determine the most probable sales price of the subject property.
How to prepare and Appeal and File
- Valuation Notices* Valuation notices are sent every four years when reassessments are complete. Mortgage lenders must forward copies of the notices to borrowers within 15 days.
The property tax appeal board is * Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board* , 404 Stratton Building, P O Box 19278, Springfield, IL 62794-9278 (217) 782-6076.
- Appeal Procedure or Levels to Protest Valuations* : Property owners who do not agree with the assessed value have two levels of protest available (all counties except Cook County) .
- Level 1: Property owners can file protest with the county board of reviews.
- Level 2: If not satisifed with level 1, property owners have two appeal choices: appeal to property tax appeal board, whose decision is subject to court review under the Administrative Review Law, or pay taxes under protest and file objections to the collector's application for judgment in the Circuit Court.
Property owners in Cook County who do not agree with the assessed value have three levels of protest available .
- Level 1: Property owners can file protest with the Cook County Assessor's Office.
- Level 2:' Property owners can appeal to the Cook County Board of Appeals if not satisfied by the decision of the assessor.
- Level 3 Property owners can pay taxes under protest and file objections to the Cook County Circuit Court if not satisfied with the decision of the Cook County Board of Appeals.
Taxpayers in counties with a population of less than 150,000 should file their complaints by August 10th. In counties with poulations over 150,000 but less than 1,000,000, the deadline is September 10th. In Cook County, after completing assessments in a township, the county assessor will publish a notice setting the time limit for taxpayers in that township to make application to the county assessor for review of their assessments .
Personal property tax
No personal property tax in Illinois.
Commercial property tax
- Classification of property* : Class III Commercial
- Assessment rate* : Class III is assessed at 33% of fair cash value (except in Cook County).
Additional tax bills and charges
- Corrected bill* When an error is found on the original tax statement or when property owners go before the Board of Review, resulting in tax increases or decreases, a correct bill is issued when the correctins are made.
- TIF - Tax Increment Financing (TIF) taxes can be assessed by the county board for specific purposes as deemed necessary. Some counties combine TIF taxes with the tax bill; other counties have a separate billing.
- Penalty and Interest charges: 10% for each installment missed.
- Delinquent taxes* : Delinquent balances are applied to subsequent bills. Illinois does not send delinquest property tax notices .
Current Legislation and Pending Issues
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