Property taxes are levied, collected, and spent locally to finance a major part of the services that units of local government provide to their residents. The appeal process begins at the local level.
When going through the appeal process, you, the property owner, are appealing he assessed value of your property, not the amount of tax you pay. The amount of the tax bill is determined by the various tax rates that are applied to the assessment based on the levies of various local government taxing districts which include counties, townships, municipalities, school districts, special service areas, etc. If the assessment increases, the change must be published in a local newspaper. Individual assessment notices will also be mailed in some instances.
NOTE: Tax rates are not an issue when appealing your property assessment. Once you receive the tax bill, it is generally too late to make an appeal for that year’s assessment.
Reasons for an Appeal:
You may have a legitimate complaint if you can support any of the following claims:
Market Value Complaints
The assessor’s market value is higher than actual market value. Market value is defined as the most probable sale price of a property in terms of money in a competitive and open market, assuming that the buyer and seller are acting prudently and knowledgeably, allowing sufficient time for the sale, and assuming that the transaction is not affected by undue pressures. This definition assumes that the sale is an arms-length sale, has had a reasonable amount of time and exposure in the open market, and the buyer and seller are knowledgeable and not related. Evidence of market value may include:
o A recent professional appraisal (1 year or less)
o Recent sale of the subject property evidenced by a copy of the sales contract and closing statement.
o If new construction: evidence of the cost of construction including the cost of land value of any labor provided the owner or donated to the owner.
o Three recent sales of comparable properties in or near the subject neighborhood, if possible.
When the taxpayer cites unequal treatment or lack of uniformity in his/her appeal he/she must prove by clear and convincing evidence that a disparity of assessment exits. The evidence must demonstrate that a consistent pattern of assessment inequities exists. Isolated examples of assessment inequities are not sufficient to substantiate an assessment reduction. (Kankakee County Board of Review vs. Property Tax Appeal Board, 131 IL 2d1 (1989))
The primary assessment of the property is based on inaccurate information, such as an incorrect measurement of a lot or building.
You may contact your township or multi-township assessor or chief county assessment officer if you have a complaint. Calling an erroneous assessment to the assessor’s attention early in the year may result in a correction without using the formal appeal process. This can only be done if the assessor still has the assessment books for that year, he or she can correct the erroneous assessment.
Supplements for appeal forms:
A formal appeal must be made in writing to the county board of review.
Note: A written appeal to the county board of review is a prerequisite to any further appeal to the State Property Tax Appeal Board of the circuit court in your county.
Steps in Appeal of an Assessment:
• Obtain the property record card with the assessed valuation of the property.
• Discuss the assessment with the assessor’s office to determine how the assessment was calculated.
• Determine the fair market value for the property.
• Determine the prevailing assessment level in the district.
• Determine the basis for your formal complaint.
• File a written complaint on Form PTAX-230, Non-farm Assessment Complaint, with the county board of review.
• Present all evidence of unfair assessment with your complaint form to the board of review.
To support a claim of an unfair assessment, you will need substantial evidence, some of which may be obtained from the county assessing official’s office, from a professional appraiser, or through research. Pertinent evidence for non farm property should include some or all of the following:
• A copy of the property record card and photograph of the property under appeal
• Copies of the property record card and photograph of similar properties in the neighborhood
• A copy of the Real Estate Transfer Declaration, a deed, or a contract for purchase.
• An recent appraisal of the property (1 year or less)
• A list of recent sales of comparable properties (including photographs, property record cards, and evidence of the sales prices).
Farm land and Building Appeals
Farm Property Assessment Complaints must file on Form PTAX-227.
Other supplements to go with complaints:
Once you have formally filed an appeal with the Board of Review, the board will review your evidence which has been presented with your complaint. The Board of Review may make a tentative decision based on the evidence presented. You will be notified in writing of your scheduled appointment, if you agree with the tentative decision made, you may sign the hearing waiver and return it to the board if you do not you must appear at the scheduled time to protest the assessment further. After the scheduled hearing you will receive a final decision from the Board of Review. All actions, decisions, and findings of the board are decided by the three member board or a minimum of two members.
Appeal to State Property Tax Appeal Board or Circuit Court:
If you do not agree with the county board of review’s decision, you can appeal the decision (in writing) to the State Property Tax Appeal Board ILCS Section 16-160 of the Property Tax Code or may pay under protest and file an objection in court per ILCS Section 23-3 through 23-30 of the Property Tax Code. All final decisions of the Board of Review are subject to equalization per ILCS Section 12-40, 16-60, and 16-65 of the Property Tax Code.
In either case, you must pay your taxes pending the outcome of the appeal of the board of review’s decision.
For more information regarding an appeal to the circuit court, you may contact the circuit clerk for your county. For information regarding an appeal to the State Property Tax Appeal Board, forms can be obtained from the assessment office or you may contact them directly.
For more information about property tax appeals use the following link to the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board website.
Click Publications and there are two areas you may want to review. The first is the Assessment Appeal Information Directory and the second is the Appeal Information for Illinois Taxpayers.
Note: If you have a prior year appeal pending with PTAB, you may check on the status of your appeal by clicking Appeal Status Inquiry. You will need either the PTAB docket # or your parcel ID #. If you are searching by your parcel ID#, you will need to type in the dashes between the numbers of your ID#.
If you wish to know more about the property tax system, use the following link to the Illinois Department of Revenue to download or view a 32 page publication entitled: The Illinois Tax System, A General Guide to the Local Property Tax Cycle: