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Frequently Asked Questions About Property Tax Reduction

What is property tax and how is it determined?

Property tax is a major source of tax revenue for local taxing bodies. Anyone who owns real property — a house, condominium, commercial building or just land — pays property taxes. Real estate taxes are based on two factors; 1) the township assessor’s opinion of the FMV of your property; and 2) the tax rate, which is a compilation of the levies imposed by the local taxing bodies such as the schools, local governments, townships, park districts and libraries.

What is “fair market value?”

Most property is assessed based on its “fair market value,” which is essentially the amount a buyer and seller agree on for in a competitive and open market. Assessors use market data and the cost to reproduce the property as guidelines for determining fair market value. The value of income-producing property such as an apartment complex or retail space is calculated by the amount of future net income the property can be expected to return to an investor. Most property in Illinois is assessed at one-third of its market value.

What causes property assessments to increase?

Common reasons for a property’s value to increase include:

  • A general increase in value throughout the neighborhood
  • Improvements to the property such as an addition or extensive renovation
  • The property was not assessed accurately in relation to other similar properties in the area
  • The property has a homestead or other exemption that was removed

How do I know if my property has been fairly assessed?

A first step is to verify that the information the township has on record regarding your property is accurate. Review items such as the building square footage, lot square footage, number of bedroom and baths, finished or unfinished basement. If there is a discrepancy, you can discuss this directly at the assessor’s office. If they agree, there will be an immediate change to your assessed value.

Second step is to compare the assessed value of your property with similar properties in your immediate neighborhood. If you feel your property is over assessed then contact us.

Why should I appeal my property tax assessment?

Because you have the legal right to! It is not uncommon for properties to be assessed higher than their current value, meaning you are paying too much in property taxes.

How do I appeal my property tax assessment with Illinois Real Estate Tax Appeals Inc.?

Call 630-912-5970 or reach us toll free at 800-599-2152, or use our contact form to get the process started. We will then look up fair market valuations of neighboring properties similar to yours. If we determine that there is a basis for a successful tax appeal, we will email you our Retainer and the County Authorization form.  Once the Retainer and County Authorization is completed, signed and dated, we will start your appeal. No money is due to Illinois Real Estate Tax Appeal, Inc. until we have obtained a successful appeal for you. Please know, there are strict deadlines for filing an appeal that must be met or you will lose the opportunity to appeal the assessment for that tax year.

Are appeals successful?

Yes, tax appeals are successful. Illinois Real Estate Tax Appeal, Inc. has a 75% to 80% success rate on appeals that it files.