Property Taxes

Administration of the Property Tax
The property tax is an ad valorem tax, meaning that the tax is based upon the value of property. It is a local tax imposed by local government taxing districts (e.g., school districts, municipalities, counties) and administered by local officials (e.g. township assessors, chief county assessment officers, local boards of review, county collectors).

Two component activities affect each taxpayer’s property tax bill:
  1. Determining the amount of revenue (taxes) needed to operate government: and
  2. Apportioning the burden of those taxes among taxpayers.
The property tax cycle begins with the assessment. Property is to be assessed with respect to its value and ownership on January 1 of the assessment year. Local assessing officials determine most property values. The chief county assessment officer ensures the assessment levels are uniform and at the legal assessment level by applying a uniform percentage increase or decrease (equalized values) to all assessments in the jurisdiction.

Boards of Review
County boards of review determine whether local assessing officials have calculated assessed values correctly, equalize assessments within the county, determine if any property was omitted, decide if homesteads exemptions should be granted and review non-homestead exemption applications. Property owners and local taxing districts may appeal unfair assessments to their local county boards of review.

The Illinois Department of Revenue then equalizes assessments at the county level and issues a state equalization factor for each county.

Calculating the Tax Rate
Each taxing district then determines the revenues required from property taxes to support operations in order to formulate a levy request. The county clerk at this point applies the state equalization factor, calculates the tax rate needed to generate the amount of revenue requested in the levy, apportions the levy among all taxable property in the taxing district according to their equalized assessed values so that the tax bills can be computed.

Preparing & Collecting Property Taxes
The county collector prepares all tax bills, receives property tax payments from property owners, distributes taxes to the local government taxing districts that levied them, and administers sales of liens on real estate parcels due to non payment of taxes.

For additional information regarding an overview of property taxes visit the Illinois Department of Revenue.

For additional information regarding property assessments please visit Cook County Assessors Office or Lake County Assessors Office.