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Tax Bill

Understanding Property Taxes

What role do property taxes play in funding public services?

Property taxes have long helped fund essential public services in Illinois communities. Today, property taxes allow 241 local government entities like school districts, municipalities, and park services to meet community needs. Over 70% of local property taxes support education. Remaining funds go towards priorities like public safety, infrastructure, and recreation.

How do property taxes work in Illinois?

The property tax cycle spans two years. The tax year reflects a property’s value as of January 1. Property owners pay taxes the following year based on that assessed value. For example, 2024 assessments fund 2025 budgets.

How are property values assessed?

Illinois assesses property values, excluding farmland, at 33% of fair market value. Regular reassessments and published notices ensure transparency. Lenders also share updated assessment details with affected homeowners.

How can I evaluate my property assessment?

Taxpayers can verify their assessment using two methods:

  1. Compare your home’s fair market value to recent neighborhood sales. Fair market value reflects what a ready buyer would currently pay.

  2. Check whether your assessment aligns percentage-wise with nearby properties. This gauges assessment uniformity.

What relief options exist for unfair assessments?

Taxpayers have administrative options like filing with the county board of review. Additional appeals are possible if needed. However, favorable rulings require first pursuing these local channels within listed deadlines.

What happens if I don't pay my property taxes?

Unpaid taxes result in property liens, which if left unaddressed, may lead to home sale forfeitures. Different property types have distinct redemption timelines and costs if sold. Acting before final forfeiture allows taxpayers to retain ownership.

What tax relief programs are available to homeowners?

[Insert links or details on relevant local tax relief programs here]

How are farm parcels and buildings assessed?

Farmland receives preferential assessment based on productivity capacity rather than market value. Buildings receive assessment on contributory value. Farm residences are assessed at 33% fair market value. Regular review by local officials determines valuation.

What impacts my final property tax amount?

The two inputs are:

  1. A property’s assessed value
  2. Local budget funding needs

Therefore, taxes can remain steady or even decrease despite higher assessments if community needs or the tax base changes. Conversely, taxes can rise even with flat or lower assessments if jurisdictions require additional revenue.

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